Monday, 8 August 2016

123-126 - Swansea, Carmarthenshire, Bridgend, Neath Port Talbot - 13th-15th October 2015

Fan Foel

The Pod
I was joined again by Chris G and this time we were heading off to South Wales to tick off 4 high points, We drove to our campsite in South Wales not too far from the town of Amanford where we were treated to a bit of luxury, instead of our tent we ended up with a glamping pod. so we settled in and got ready for our first high point.

Just to the South of Amanford lies the Mynydd y Betws Wind Farm, 15 magnificent wind turbines all working together to supply power to Carmarthenshire, our destination was near the wind farm so we decided to park and go for a walk around the Wind farm and find the high point. Both Chris and myself are huge fans of wind farms, personally I think they are beautiful, quiet and excellent news for the environment,  to see these amazing beasts up close was a real treat. we took our time walking through these and getting surprisingly close to them, at one point we saw one being worked on by an engineer, stopping and re-starting the turbine, it is a fascinating thing to watch. 
Swansea High point
Eventually we had crossed the wind farm and had made out way up Mynydd y Betws hill to the highest point, at 373 metres this is the highest point of Swansea and with magnificent views over the wind farm it really was a good one to visit. Not too far from the high point was the remains of a medieval castle, there were not too many stone work remains left however plenty of ditches to explore and hide from the wind in. 
Making our way back down the hill and back through the wind farm we eventually made our way back to the car park and then back home with a short stop in Ammanford for some supplies.

The next morning it was time to visit the tallest of the high points during this visit. it was going to be a fairly long walk so headed off and parked at a youth hostel ready for our walk. We first had to walk along the road for a while but we had soon left the road and were making our way through a valley, passing some old ruined buildings, through a forest and over the river we eventually came out onto open land and the start of the climb up. The climb was pretty steep to start with and we were soon making progress and getting higher, stopping for snacks at times and then to put in warmer clothes as the wind had picked up. To our left below us there were some amazing views of a lake and to the north but we carried on and soon we were walking along a ridge and over the peak of Picws Du and then along another ridge towards the highest point Fan Foel, at 781 metres it is the highest point of Carmarthenshire. 

We didn't stop long and we soon went straight down the front of Fan Foel, a steep decent and then across some moorland passing over the smaller hills of Cefn Disgwylfa and Disgwylfa eventually making our way to farm land and some footpaths leading us back to our car at the youth hostel. It was then a short drive home back to our pod and a nice relaxing evening.

On day 3 we had planned to visit 2 more high points so we headed south and then east deep into the winding roads of the Brecon Beacons where we parked at an amazing view point northwards over looking the town of Treorchy. From the car park we walked back along the road and through the sheep, it wasn't quite as beautiful as the previous day however it still had some amazing views now to the south. We soon joined a service road and were making our way up to a fenced off complex and a tall mast, just beyond this was the highest point of Bridge End, called Werfa it is 568 metres above sea level. Making our way back to the car a slightly different route we were soon driving and on our way to our second destination of the day.

We parked our car at another car park with amazing views, this time overlooking Hirwaun common, a short walk back along the road brought us to some moorland and then into a forest, this high point was situated well into this forest so I knew the views wouldn't be as good from the summit but we carried on and eventually found the trig point marking the highest point of  Neath Port Talbot, called Craig y Llyn it is 600 metres above sea level. A short walk and we were back at the car and on our way back to the pod for another good rest before our drive home again. These few high points were all really good to visit, each one of them were slightly different, even the forest covered Craig y Llyn had its appeal. Thanks to Chris for joining me on another awesome trip.

The top of Carmarthenshire

Werfa, Bridgend

Craig Y Llyn

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