Full English? Day 1, The Bluestones of Stonehenge

We can’t get a full English in the States, they just don’t have real bacon and sausages. So I arose early at the Youth Hostel and slapped together the real thing. Coffee is a whole different subject, I bring that with me!
Today’s plan was to hike the Presili, pop in to see my old mum, and then have a real crack at the Black Mountain. This is how it panned out. I had done so much research on today that although I had a map, or maps actually, if you add the road map for getting there, that I actually never looked at one all day.
I drove from Llanddeusant through Carmarthen, noting the “Open 24x7” sign on the Tescos, and drove on through Crymych to the parking spot I was aiming at. Now OS maps are the best, but please note that the parking spot shown on map here is wrong, it is actually ¼ mile South West, aligning with the next footpath down the road. But anyway, for this little jaunt of 5 miles I had allocated myself 2 hours. That was the plan…..
I walked from the parking spot (roadside parking for about 3 cars) and walked up the short lane, passed through a gate and followed the clear path up the steep hillside to the 3 cairns at the hilltop. From there the obvious thing to do (if you look at a map) is to backtrack down the hill and follow the path to Carn Menyn. [Photo: the wrong way to the path]
From the hilltop I could see Carn Menyn the source of the Stonehenge Blue Dolerite stone, and since that was my next target, I made a beeline for it. Well, let’s just say it was a mistake, after numerous backtracks, scrambling down and up and down again I ended up wading through the marsh to get to my destination. Now on the map Carn Menyn looks like it’s the name for a group of outcroppings, which in fact are there just as marked, but imagine my horror after having done so much research to finally reach my goal, and there it was, limestone! [Photo: Carn Menyn, close up limestone, behind that dolorite]
I looked around, scrambled up a hill or two, definitely limestone, my life was shattered.
I headed for my third and final target of the day, the stone circle, Beddarther. I followed the path round slopped through some mud and soon came upon it. Well time to regroup, sit down and eat a delicious Chocolate Digestive (well ok, a few chocolate digestives) Why can’t we get good biscuits in the States? I sat on a stone. (sorry Beddarthur) and pondered, and ate, and ate and pondered. You know the Dolerite has to be there. [Picture: From Beddarthur looking at Carn Menyn(right) and the Cairns on the hilltop (left)]
I really didn’t look at ALL the outcrops, I gotta go back that way, let’s take another look. So after my sitting and my pondering I approached Carn Menyn from a different angle, and this time, as if by magic it had transformed itself into Dolerite, the famous bluestones of Stonehenge, Dark blue, almost Grey/Black dense hard stone filled with bright white stars. Sometimes described as looking into the sky at night. No wonder this was a magical rock back when Stonehenge was built. I climbed to the top of the highest peak, and sat, and sat, just breathing in what I saw. My grey colored jacket blended into the rock, and people passed by without seeing me, and still I sat, somehow mesmerized.
OK Cleansing breath!
So my 5 miles in 2 hours took me 5 hours and I drove back the way I came.
On reaching Carmarthen, I discovered that in the UK, 24x7 means Tesco’s close at 4 on Sunday, but I got in the door at 3:50, just needed some fruit for me good old Mum, was gonna browse a bit, but there you are!
So long story short, I had to skip doing the 8 mile hike on the Black mountain for that day, but there’s always tomorrow……

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