CW Day #5 : Crickhowell to Torpantau

Another nice day in South Wales and a later start again as work gets finished before the two week stint walking the Cambrian Way. I'd planned to getting to Llandovery on Sunday evening, so dediced to get the section from Crickhowell to Torpantau done, leaving the 30 miles to Llandovery doable over the weekend.

Cambrian Way Day 5
Steps from canal towpath onto the road heading towards Craig y Cilau

Stepped off the old favourite X43 bus in Crickhowell and headed down the High Street to the Bridge Inn and the River Usk. Relatively warm day, given recent weather but relatively overcast. That was good, as the climb behind Llangattock up to Craig y Cilau is a little on the steep side, but managed to get the path round to Eglwys Faen around 13h30. Done this walk a few times, usually in the dark and rain after a long trip in Agen Allwedd, a great (if undecorated) cave with some long trips and knackering Southern Stream Passage. The best option is to take the path down before the Agen Allwedd entrance, as you are on the right level and saves a scramble or down later. Some nice woodland with a plethora of wildlife in the next section, a bit I'd not walked before.

Cambrian Way Day 5
View along Craig y Cilau nature reserve; quite a few miles of cave under the hill, but Daren Cilau, Agen Allwedd and Craig y Ffynnon never connected.

You end up on the Crickhowell -> Beaufort road, and the next section is a disappointing part of the Cambrian Way, with two miles road side with some speeding downhill traffic, as you head up to the junction at Blaen Onneu.

Cambrian Way Day 5
Worst bit of the Cambrian Way so far and well worth a deviation or route change

Still making good progress and I'd walked the next section across Mynnyd Llangyndir a few weeks before, so navigation was good, given the clear weather. From the junction, follow the parallel tracks from quad bikes and head up and to the left for about 1km, before heading right on a clearly defined track that takes you to the trig point. Following the path across for 3km brings you to Chartists Cave, the only really noticeable landmark on the way across. Short break here, before pressing on to the Trefil Quarry road and then the top of Bryn Oer tramroad which takes round the top of the deep side Cwm Crawnon.

Cambrian Way Day 5
As obvious as it gets on Mynnyd Llangyndir

I was tempted to stay of the path, across the small bridge and warning notice that the upcoming path was too narrow for bikes and horses, rather than take the route that stays up and left on the moor nearer the quarries. I went along the track until the near stream and struck up left from there and then on to the final part over Pant y Creigau. A bit boggier than other parts during that day and came across a couple of guys with number-plate-less Enduro bikes churning it up nicely. Do wonder sometimes if illegal trail riding is the minority or majority part of the sport, given the number of people seen on the Taff Trail.

Cambrian Way Day 5
Not the right route, but a great path round the top of Cwm Crawnon

Down the steep motocross style section to Torpantau (once the highest station in Wales) and to retrieve my bicycle I'd left there the previous night and was to some surprise it was still there. Cycled back the 8 miles to Llangyndir and scrounged a lift up the hill to Bwlch.

Cambrian Way Day 5
View back from Pant y Creigau, with two people who shouldn't have been there

Distance : 23.13km / 14.37 miles
Walking time : 5h08
Stopping Time : 27 minutes

Good progress and further than I thought it was so glad I'd got this section done and ready for the main walk starting tomorrow.

[Cambrian Way Flickr Album](