It rained all night with a strong wind, so was really glad to find out that the MSR Hubba tent stood up to it really well, with just 6 titanium pegs (and no guys, not sure if they were originally there, but Sophie may have taken them out for the cycle trip last year). Everything had got wet on the evening walk up to Llyn y Fan Fawr, including the future maps which were in a plastic sleeve in the back of the rucsack. Not much chance of drying anything as I spent the night listening to the rain and getting some sleep. I got a spare plastic sealable bag and put the maps in there.
Woke about 7am and the cloud was down and not a lot visibility. This would make route finding off Fan Brycheiniog a little interesting and I noticed my strip maps didn't go round as far as Llyn y Fan Fach and to the water board road, though I was pretty certain I could work it out. Kept looking at the BBC Weather app on the phone (there is a data signal at the llyn) which was showing 22 C for Llandovery later in the day, so just stayed in the sleeping bag, thinking the longer I wait the better it will get.
Stuck my head out again at 08h00 and skies were clearing and by 08h30 had sun had come along with a relatively brisk wind. Welsh weather does change quickly, sometimes for the better.
Everything down and packed by 09h10 and concious that today wasn't going to the biggest day in terms of distance, though I had a feeling it wasn't going to be easy. Made the summit of Fan Brycheiniog by 09h45 and got the muscles warmed up. I heard and then saw a party coming up over Fan Hir behind me, so they too must have made an early start.
Took the route down via Bwlch Blaen Twrch which is the official route, as I was keen to take the overland (undefined) route to Llandovery rather than the roads. Doing the circuit round Llyn y Fan Fawr gives you a big double back and 2-3 miles additional work. I was looking for a short day, rather than a long one.
The route over past the source of the Usk is pretty much like a lot of the ground on the Black Mountain; pretty featureless and takes some working out for routes and location, even on a nice day. I took out the compass and from a good position plotted out the route. Pretty quiet on the route, but did see one guy and got chatting on the walking the moor and the need for compass work. I then noticed I'd dropped my compass further back. Dumped the pack and headed back over the trail to look for it but no joy. The other guy then offered me his compass as I'd be needing it more than him over the next couple of weeks. I accepted, only to then find my compass 50m back down as I was heading for my rucsack, so in then end all sorted and I gave him his compass back You can get lost on the mynnyd without a compass, but you can't lose a compass it seems.
Another 40 minutes saw me to the road at 11h50 and with a recorded distance of around 9.5km. Not the quickest but not really a path to follow. Whilst breezy the day was warming up and the next section was over some more common land before heading down past an interesting coppice of Scots Pine and warped hawthorn. Onto the road at Sarnau and then along to Myddfai. I'd stopped to cool my feet as out of the wind it was pretty warm by now.
Myddfai I associate with the physicians, who got their skills from the Lady in the Lake and passed them down through generations, but also with Prince Charles, who I seem to think has a house there he might use once a year.
Stopped in the Community Hall for a cup of tea (all days except Monday 10h30 to 17h00 in summer). Opened in 2011 by Charles and Camilla it serves drinks and foods and there is a shop as well.
The days leisurely pace continued up Myrtle Hill and then on to the series of paths that then lead over the next 4 miles in Llandovery.
There is a new footpath diversion around a new build just as you come into Llandovery but it's well marked and the new stiles are easily seen and followed. Overall, the paths were easy to follow and make a welcome change from the moors above and much nicer, if a little slower than the lanes.
Both rugby and cricket matches taking place on a glorius afternoon. With the full heat of LLandovery I cross over in to town and down to the Castle Hotel, where I'd prebooked.
Got there for 16h00 so on the dot to check in and looking slightly red and hot walked straight up to the room with muddy boots. My room was the Lady Hamilton suite and she looked on unimpressed as the smelly contents of the rucsack were distributed and as I washed my clothes in the bath. A cool off in a tepid bath before doing some shopping in the nearby supermarket and then on for a pint and an excellent dinner (whitebait and meat mezze). The Castle has seem some improvements and can be recommended, as the previous place of choice, the Level Crossing hostel seems to have shut.
Even short days can be knackering, though looking at the forecast temperatures will be down over the next few days, which is great, though the rain won't be so welcome.
Distance : 22.27km / 14.02 miles
Moving Time : 5h19
Stopping Time : 1h46
Average pace 4.2km,
The pictures for the day (as others) have been uploaded into Flickr and the link is the pull down menu.