November Daily Blog 18: broad views and small details in the Brecon Beacons National Park

Sunday was indeed another good day.  Sunny days in Grey Britain are rare, opportunities not to be missed.  So, despite warnings to rest my knee, I walked up the ridge at the southern tip of the Brecon Beacons National Park to the Goose and Cuckoo for a pub lunch with a friend.

The sunshine couldn’t take the chill out of the air when we set out but the climb from the canal at 84 metres ASL steeply up to the Folly Tower and then up to Mynydd Garn Wen, at 425 metres the high point on the ridge, soon had us abandoning outer fleece layers.  A tongue of mist lay like a giant white snake down the length of the Severn Estuary, blanketing Somerset and Devon from sight but views in other directions were as good as they get.  As well as nearby mountain ridges Pen y Fan and Corn Du, the high peaks of the Brecon Beacons, came into view to the northwest as we left Garn Wen behind.  The Malvern Hills could be seen to the northeast and the rim of the Wye Valley somewhat hazily to the east.

With the sun on our backs the walk along the ridge top was very pleasant and we didn’t hurry.  In places there was a thin skin of ice on some of the pools of water which had been out of the sun.  The drop down to the Goose and Cuckoo from the ridge-top path took us into deep shade and a different world with pockets of white hoar frost.

I usually walk on my own but walking with a friend gave opportunity for conversation.  That, the frequent stops to photograph both broad perspectives and small details, plus increasing problems with my damaged knee meant that it took nearly 3 hours to reach the pub and a bowl of very fine bean soup and a crusty roll sitting by the woodburning stove.


The Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal at the point where it becomes the eastern boundary of the Brecon Beacons National Park


On the way up to the ridge top through the fields


The beginning of the open common


Looking over the Folly Tower to the ridges to the east


Photographer on top of Mynydd Garn Wen looking north


Looking north from further along the ridge to the Skirrid and Abergavenny far below


A section of ridge-top path so badly damaged by illegal off-road trial bikes it has now become a permanent pond


In places small pools of water shaded from the sun have a thin layer of ice


…….. while the weak winter sun can’t melt the thin ice even on some larger pools


In permanent shade, there are pockets of hoar frost on the ancient ‘sunken way’ from the ridge-top down to the pub


While lower down water droplets are still there even after two days without rain

Named by a French mycologist with a sense of humour, the Phallus Impudicus or Common Stinkhorn

Apologies for the delay in posting photos, caused by internet outage for  9 hours.  

This entry was posted in Autumn, Monmouthshire, Mountains, Pontypool, Uncategorized, Wales, Winter and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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