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Dry Dock Cottage, Brecon Beacons

Re: Dry Dock Cottage, Brecon Beacons

Postby Dave » 21 Oct 2019 22:26

Camela wrote:Loved your walk today Dave. Whetted my appetite for hiring a boat on the Mon and Brec as no chance of taking ours to that land locked canal. :cry:


I thought you might like this photo of me watching narrowboat manoeuvres...

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Boats go under a bridge then have to turn very sharply to the right just outside our window. There's a sign warning about the turn and recommending the use of a pole, but quite a few don't bother and hit the side. It's very entertaining to watch! :D
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Booked cruise 2019: December - Caribbean on Marella Explorer 2
Remaining land-based holidays 2019: July - Peak District, August - Harris and Highlands, October - Brecon Beacons
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Dry Dock Cottage, Brecon Beacons

Postby Gillzajoker » 22 Oct 2019 13:35

Lovely pics. of your latest walk, Dave. Beautiful scenery in that area. You'll love Pen y Fan,
it was a favourite of OH's son who was sadly killed in a RTA, and had his ashes scattered there.
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Re: Dry Dock Cottage, Brecon Beacons

Postby Carwalsick » 22 Oct 2019 15:47

Not so entertaining when you have the helm. We turned just short of where you are and were grateful for the help of the crew of another Beacon Parks boat who we then helped with lots of ropes. Turning one of these boats is quite a challenge, it's like a three point turn with no steerage in reverse. Especially interesting in Brecon being watched by dozens of people sitting outside the pub.

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Re: Dry Dock Cottage, Brecon Beacons

Postby Camela » 22 Oct 2019 18:00

Narrow boating is a spectator sport! Onlookers are referred to as 'gongoozlers'!!
"Won't you let me take you on a sea cruise"
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Dry Dock Cottage, Brecon Beacons

Postby Dave » 22 Oct 2019 20:59

The weather forecast for today was the most promising of the week so we did the walk that we came here to do - the Brecon Beacons Horseshoe. :)

We parked at Cwm Gwdi, in a National Trust car park at the end of a long single-track lane. We did the circuit in a clockwise direction, first heading south along Cwm Sere - a beautiful valley - to the foot of Cribyn. We climbed to the summit up the steep and quite challenging north-east side, then across to Pen y Fan and Corn Du, before heading north down Cwm LLwch and back to the car along quiet lanes.

This walk has been described by OS as "...arguably the finest mountain walk in South Wales and one of the best in the country." We wouldn't argue with that because it really was varied and incredibly scenic.

Soon after setting off from the car park:

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Near the start of Cwm Sere, with Cribyn (left) and Pen y Fan (right) in the distance:

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After a long pathless trek up to the foot of Cribyn we're about to begin the climb. I don't suppose it qualifies as a scramble, but two hands were often needed and the surface was slippery in places. The summit was also much further away than it looked from below!

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Having a breather at the top of Cribyn. We were pleased to have the top to ourselves:

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We left Cribyn (left of photo) and headed up nearby Pen y Fan on a very much easier path. (Cribyn looks easy too from this side.) Despite there being a good couple of dozen other people on and around Pen y Fan I managed to take a photo without a single one of them in it!

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Me on Pen y Fan... and at that moment I'm on higher ground than anyone else in the whole of southern Britain! :)

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The summit of Corn Du was just a gentle stroll from Pen y Fan and, as with Cribyn, we had it all to ourselves. That's the flat top of Pen y Fan to the left:

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The sun was behind hills for the long descent down Cwm Llwch and this was my final photo - across to Pen y Fan and Corn Du, with a lovely lake below.

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This was our first visit to the central Beacons and we chose the circuit from Cwm Gwdi hoping that it would be quieter than (what I thought would be) the more popular route to Pen y Fan from the south-west. And that's exactly how it turned out. Pen y Fan was far busier than any peak we've seen so far - except for Snowdon, but we hardly saw anyone before or after we were in the vicinity of the peaks. It was a good choice and a great day!
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Booked cruise 2019: December - Caribbean on Marella Explorer 2
Remaining land-based holidays 2019: July - Peak District, August - Harris and Highlands, October - Brecon Beacons
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Re: Dry Dock Cottage, Brecon Beacons

Postby rdw123 » 23 Oct 2019 07:05

Well done both of you. Beautiful photos. Have climbed Pen y Fan many years ago and Duke the dog did it too! Enjoy your holiday.
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Dry Dock Cottage, Brecon Beacons

Postby Gillzajoker » 23 Oct 2019 09:44

Wonderfu pics., Dave - glad you enjoyed it. :D
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Dry Dock Cottage, Brecon Beacons

Postby Dave » 23 Oct 2019 17:08

After yesterday's exertions in the central Beacons, we decided to do a more level walk today. My wife suggested walking along the canal and back in the opposite direction to the one we took a few day's ago.

A good plan, but I prefer circular walks to the there-and-back variety. So I worked out a route that followed the Usk Valley Walk for a few miles for the outward stretch, then we would cross the River Usk by way of a footbridge I spotted on the map and return along the canal. An even better plan! :geek:

All went fairly well at first. The Usk Valley Walk bit wasn't as scenic as I'd hoped and was poorly maintained. We had to work our way through a herd of cows, which thankfully were reasonably docile, and at last we saw the bridge we needed to cross the river.

But the bridge was private and led only to a house on the opposite bank. The map showed a railway crossing the river a mile or so further on and a road bridge about two miles ahead. The railway bridge seemed doubtful, but we decided that carrying on was preferable to negotiating the cows again. As we neared the railway bridge we could see it wasn't usable and, to make matters worse, the herd of cattle ahead looked to be of an entirely different disposition to the previous herd. So, for the first time in our walking careers, we chose not to take a chance and we returned the way we'd come. How embarrassing! :oops:

We returned to where we'd joined the Usk Valley Walk, stopped for coffee in a nice cafe, found the canal, and followed it back to the cottage. On the way back, we were pleased to find that the cows had moved away from the path!

Setting off along the Mon & Brec in the misty morning:

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Negotiating one of many obstacles on the Usk Valley Walk!

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The footbridge across the Usk - the only footbridge I've ever come across that is closed to the public:

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The hefty-looking cattle that started towards us and turned us into wussies! :oops:

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All's well that ends well - a lovely canal walk to end the day... :D

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Booked cruise 2019: December - Caribbean on Marella Explorer 2
Remaining land-based holidays 2019: July - Peak District, August - Harris and Highlands, October - Brecon Beacons
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Dry Dock Cottage, Brecon Beacons

Postby Gillzajoker » 24 Oct 2019 09:22

Well, it can't be perfect every time and it turned out right in the end. :D
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Dry Dock Cottage, Brecon Beacons

Postby Dave » 24 Oct 2019 16:37

Just a brief report today...

We're only a couple of miles from Abergavenny so we combined a walk into town with a climb to a nearby viewpoint on a hill called Little Skirrid. On our way back through Abergavenny we stopped for coffee and visited the castle.

The view from Little Skirrid over Abergavenny with Sugar Loaf mountain in the distance:

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On the way back to town, with the Blorenge (which we climbed on Monday) in the background. Dry Dock Cottage is in the trees just above Fred's head!:

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A view from the castle grounds towards today's much smaller hill:

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A bit of the castle:

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The forecast for tomorrow is for heavy rain, so we're planning to walk to Abergavenny to catch a bus to Crickhowell and walk back along the canal. :)
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Booked cruise 2019: December - Caribbean on Marella Explorer 2
Remaining land-based holidays 2019: July - Peak District, August - Harris and Highlands, October - Brecon Beacons
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