A 7:30 start from The Oak for our drive to Llanfrynach, a picturesque village straddling the Nant Menasgin, a fast flowing tributary of the Usk, just south of Brecon town. Leaving the village we walk upstream for about an hour along a bridle path that threads through mature trees and pastures: a delightful start to any walk. This leads to the open hillside at the foot of Fan y Bîg. Now for the real hillwalking: a long, and at times steep, pull up the ridge of Cefn Cyff. The effort is well rewarded with close up views of Cribyn, the valley of Cwm Oergwm and looking back towards Brecon. Plenty of photo stops and a coffee break provided welcome relief on our ascent. Now at the summit of Fan y Bîg we followed in the footsteps of thousands by having a photo call on the cantilevered stone that juts out like a bird’s beak over a sheer drop, (the translation for Fan y Bîg is ‘peak of the bill’). This setting was the front cover on the O.S. map of the Beacons for many years.
Lunch on the summit was accompanied by 2 Peregrine Falcons soaring overhead before stooping spectacularly, they obviously had a nest nearby as young birds could be heard calling for food. Now for an easy afternoons walking, starting with a traverse overlooking the valley of Cwm Oergwm via Craig Cwmoergwm with a gradual gain in height to our second summit Bwlch y Ddwyallt. Views to the South included Neuadd Reservoirs and the headwaters of the Taf Fechan. At this point we turned North, heading towards Llanfrynach. An easy downhill walk along the Bwlch y Ddwyallt ridge and Ffordd Las track, with views to Llyn Syfaden/Llangorse Lake took us to within a mile of our starting point. All that remained was a stroll along a country lane into the village. There was just time for a quick examination of the stock in Llanfrynach’s library, open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year (see photo), before arriving back for a welcome cup of tea and pieces of cake at Bev Lewis’s house.
With conditions dry overhead and dry underfoot and good visibility we had enjoyed a superb day out. Thanks to all who came and drove, Bev and Abi Lewis for the hospitality and Doreen Lewis for the cakes. (Report by Len)