When we first came to the Brecon Beacons in 2014 I was initially confused when people talked about walking on the Back Mountain whilst we were staying at Llangadog. I had thought that it was on the east of the Beacons not the west, and then I realised that the Black Mountains are on the east and the Black Mountain is on the west. It might only be an ‘s’ but it makes a lot of difference in these parts.
Today’s walk is on the Black Mountain; unusually for us we are walking with others. Our good friends Stuart and Mandy are staying in their caravan on the other side of Llangadog. My knee has been playing up since my 20-mile hike and Lynnie has a similar problem so we have agreed to start at the top of the mountain and walk along the ridge. Our starting point is besides the A4069 in the car park at the top of the mountain, there are a series of car parks but we choose the one on the right as you come from Llangadog, close to Pen Rhiw-wen.
Our walk starts by heading west on a faint path leading towards the cairn on Pen-y-clogau the path is unclear in places and we find it difficult to follow it through the heather and at times seem to be following sheep tracks. Eventually we reach Pen-y-clogau.
From here we can see our next destination, the cairns on the horizon, located at Tair Carn Uchaf, once again the route is not as clear as we would hope, but by way of compensation a small string of ponies cross our path. I am never too sure of the collective nouns for some animals, there are some very odd ones on the list foe example a Murder of Crows; a Busyness of Ferrets and Shrewdness of Apes.
The first cairn we arrive at on Tair Carn Uchaf has been built into a shelter, an ideal spot to get out of the cutting wind and settle down for a bite of lunch.
Stuart’s Spaniel, Meddler, decides this is an ideal spot for him to pose for a photograph, Dexter and Crosby being older dogs (and Labradors) much prefer to keep close to the biscuits and cheese!
Refreshed we restart our walk and reach the second cairn on Tair Carn Uchaf, there are conflicting views on the route we should take to pick up the path. We all seem to choose a slightly different option with the same result. We end up back following sheep tracks through the heather to descend through marsh land to reach Cwm Pedol and then after crossing the water climb up the opposite side to skirt around Foel Deg ar Bedol and then head through the heather to a track.
We agree we should follow this track as it climbs uphill and then forks to follow a well-worn route that leads us back to the car park. Our walk has covered six and a quarter miles, but it feels like we have done twice that distance and my knee has been playing up for most of the journey.
Back in the car Lynnie and Stuart are clear that a walk of this magnitude is worthy of a reward of an ice cream. So we stop at the next car park towards Llangadog so they can claim their just deserts. I am in need of some anaesthetic to dull the pain in my knee; a few pints of Evans & Evans Cwrw in the Goose and Cuckoo tonight should do the trick!
29th April 2017
[To follow our walk you will need Ordnance Survey Outdoor Leisure Map OL12 – Brecon Beacons National Park Western Area]
© Two Dogs and an Awning (2017)