Sunday, 26 July 2009

Bal Mawr at Breakfast

We arrived at around 8.30 and set about finding a spot to park the car. Waited for what seemed like forever for Paul to finish faffing but we were soon on our way.

We headed straight past the Half Moon pub at Llanthony (which felt odd) and headed up the overgrown and wild looking path up to Bal Mawr. We've walked and camped these parts once before but with the light fading fast it took us a moment to locate our spot.

As we rounded the ridge we managed to surprise some wild horses and their young foal who at one stage looked as though they might run at us. Fortunately for me Paul is slower than me so I had a plan if things got nasty!

We found our break in the heather, pitched and got the food on as the light faded to the west. At one point I noticed a single light rising really fast against the opposite ridge and we were quite unsure as to what could ascend a hill that fast. Moments later as we stood to work out what the hell was going on, the flickering light left the ridge and carried straight on skyward until it faded into the night. Baffled, we just stood looking at each other until suddenly there were about 20 more all setting off from what we though was Llanthony Priory. We finally worked out that they were Chinese Lanterns and not sheep carrying lanterns! We sat and chatted outside til around 1am making the most of the lightest of breezes and the clear starry sky.

I woke this morning at a very leisurely 7.15am which is very unlike me. The pitch isn't particularly comfy so I can only thank Glenlivet for that. The sound of light rain on the tent is all I needed to keep me inside for a while longer. Paul, I think, is unconscious and so I'll take great pleasure in waking him in a mo with the old angry farmer routine. The plan is to head south along the ridge to Bal Bach and then descend through the forest to Cwmyoy for lunch and a pint. All being well we're thinking about then heading back north and the Offas Dyke Path before descending back down to Llanthony. Now though, nature calls but I'll send this when I get a bloody signal!

6 comments:

Dave Hollin said...

ooooh, right in my neck of the woods. Eastern Beacons are my favourite. Dont forget to have a pint in the pub at Llanthony Priory!

GeoffC said...

We were pitched very close to that spot at Bal-Bach a couple of years back on the Eastern Black Mountains trip, also accompanied by horses.

Glenlivet - mmmm, but on a backpack?. I'd be fit for nothing!.

The Dude Abides said...

Dave,
Yes I spotted that you were out this weekend too from your blog. Weather didn’t turn out as I’d hoped but we had a nice evening on Saturday so all was not lost. We never did stop at the Half Moon pub but dropped into the Queens Head for lunch and pint yesterday.

Geoff,
I recall the trip you’re talking about as Paul and I adapted your route slightly last May when we first visited. Landscape was very different with the heather and ferns really in full swing. The Glenlivet was very good and luckily no ill effects the following day, although I did temporarily ‘misplace’ my camera…

Dave Hollin said...

yes Sunday was pretty awful although i was out visiting waterfalls that day :)

I hope to do another overnighter near to where you were before the autumn. What I like about that ridge and the next one along (westwards ie Pen-allt mawr etc) is that its relatively quiet and the views are stunning

James Boulter said...

Absolutely love that area. Will be spending the August bank holiday in a friends isolated farmhouse just below Crug Mawr. No road to it, no electricity - bliss!

Dave Hollin said...

nice one James.....

there is also a bothy not far from there as well next to the reservoir though i havent checked its condition recently