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THE BEST BITS ARE THE TWO MAPS   

OPEN THEM and start clicking on the Photo Spots  

They show the position and direction of the shot on the map itself

It's my closest to Virtual Reality     

Actually ... Ross and all the photographers are good too

It 'Aint 'Arf Steep, Mum

or

How We Survived the Brecon Beacons

Len Banister

Len Banister

On Six Peaks Walk - from Roman Road

Photographer: Gwenda Hoare

Our trip to the Brecons was devised and organised by the Banisters. It is an area they know well. It was a five day excursion, two travelling and three walking. I did not make any notes during our stay, as I was not asked to write this till our return; so if there are any factual errors, I apologise. But, hey, never let the lack of facts get in the way of a good story. Anyway, it's just a few words to accompany Harry's collection of wonderful pictures.

Julie Banister

Julie Banister

On Offa's Dyke Path (with Ross and Sally)

Photographer: Gwenda Hoare

*   *   Crickhowell   *   *

The Castle

The Castle

Photographer: Sue Coulbeck

Crickhowell from the Castle

Crickhowell from the Castle

Photographer: Roger Young

The Castle

The Castle

Photographer: Roger Young

The Bear Hotel

The Bear Hotel

Nice food - bit up market

Photographer: Sue Coulbeck

Our base was Crickhowell, a pretty and prosperous little town in Breconshire. Its main features are a fine medieval bridge over the fast flowing river Usk and the remains of a castle: not to mention some decent pubs and two fish and chip shops!

Corn Exchange

Corn Exchange

Photographer: Sue Coulbeck

Crickhowell from the River

Crickhowell from the river

West of the "Bridge End" bridge

Photographer: Sue Coulbeck

High Street

High Street

Links The Bridge Inn, The Dragon Inn and The Bear

Photographer: Sue Coulbeck

37_5 P0366 En.jpg

Crickhowell from Bridge End

Bridge End Inn visible

Photographer: Harry Hawkins

*   *   Evening Meal at The Dragon Inn   *   *

The Dragon Inn

The Dragon Inn

Our Home In Wales

Photographer: Harry Hawkins

We were sixteen who gathered that first evening for dinner in our home "Dragon Inn". Mainly West Essex members, but also a contingent from Redbridge, described to me (not by any of them) as the "cream of that group": Ivan, Eileen, Roger and David, please note.


Composite Picture

Rosemary, Harry, Len, Julie, Graham and Barry

Composite picture

Photographer: Ivan Brooks (Thrice)

Gwenda, Ross, Sue and David

Gwenda, Ross, Sue and David

David, a WE man, cahoots often with Redbridge

Photographer: Ivan Brooks

Eileen, George, Hazel and Robin

Eileen, George, Hazel and Robin

Sally will join us tomorrow, am

Photographer: Ivan Brooks

- , - , Roger, Ivan's Arms, -

Roger, Ivan's Arms, -

Roger and Ivan(!) complete the set of 16

Photographer: Sue Coulbeck

*   *   Tuesday's Walk   *   *

A walk in the Black Mountains

A circuit including Waun Fach, the Black Mountains' highest Point

At Start of Walk

At Start of Walk

Just a little misty

09:50 Photographer: Harry Hawkins

Ross

Ross

Moving into the Mist

09:55 Photographer: Harry Hawkins

Crossing a Stream

Crossing a Stream - 2 photos when clicked

It's misty up above

10:20 Photographers: Ross Millar and Sue Coulbeck

The Stream

The Stream

Moving quite quickly - Looks nice for a dip

10:25 Photographer: Harry Hawkins

The weather for the Tuesday, our first walk, was not good. Dark angry clouds hung low over the hills and the sky was full of Welsh rain. After breakfast and before we set off, I popped into a shop for some lunchtime provisions. The Shopkeeper greeted me with a cheery "Good morning, sir, and how are we today", (you will have to imagine the welsh accent). For once I was lost for words and just stared at the rain. The Shopkeeper filled in for me, "apprehensive are we, sir?" Apprehensive! He hit the nail right on the head.

The last to Cross

The last to Cross

Just before Harry's Dive

10:25 Photographer: Ivan Brooks

Harry's a Little Wet

Harry's a Little Wet

After the Stone Wobbled

10:30 Photographer: Sue Coulbeck

Capturing the Mist

Capturing the Mist

Just above the Stream

10:35 Photographer: George Davies

Pen Twyn Glas 645m

Pen Twyn Glas - Inscribed Boundary Stones of:

Mrs Macnamara and Sir Bailey Bart - 19th Century

11:50 Photographer: Sue Coulbeck

Onto Waun Fach

Onto Waun Fach

How do they name Mountains

12:00 Photographer: Roger Young

Vaguely Clearer

Vaguely Clearer

It won't be for long though

12:05 Photographer: George Davies

A Soggy Path

A Soggy Path

Enjoying a path before crossing squelchy Heather

12:05 Photographer: Ivan Brooks

Waun Fach, the highest point in the Black Mountains was the focus of the walk. Thick mist and heavy rain were our companions all day. The going underfoot was particularly tough, boggy heather and deep mud. We are lucky to have these photos as Harry decided to check how waterproof his camera was by falling into a swollen stream. As you can see, both camera and operator survived. I, for one, was very pleased to get back to the cars, I began to wonder if joining the Ramblers was such a good idea after all.

Al Fresco Lunch

Al Fresco Lunch

We were all huddled in a natural hollow

12:40 Photographer: Harry Hawkins

The Army Exercise

The Army Exercise - What a bleak Place

Some Soldiers do not seem to need a Jacket!

12:55 Photographer: Sue Coulbeck

Suspect Blister Forming

Suspect Blister Forming

Len Banister says always treat these immediately

13:45 Photographer: Harry Hawkins

Just Mist

Who's That There? . . . Baa-aa

3hr 5min and no one took a photo bar the blister

Photographer: God Only Knows!

Could be Clearing

Could be Clearing - no one has lost their Spirts

Sue said the day was . . "An Experience"

16:00 Photographer: Harry Hawkins

Drying out the Boots

Drying out the Boots

While we all have a nice dinner somewhere

Photographer: Gwenda Hoare

*   *   Wednesday's Walk   *   *

A walk in the Brecon Beacons covering six peaks

Including the Brecon Beacons highest peak - Pen Y Fan

Neuadd Reservoir's Weir

Neuadd Reservoir's Weir

By the Car Park

Photographer: Gwenda Hoare

Looking at the Ascent

Looking at the Ascent - from beside Reservoir

Path is right of tree area then leftish

Photographer: Roger Young

Struggling Up

Struggling Up

Walking past the tree area

Photographer: Roger Young

Looking Up

Looking Up the final bit and ..

.. Looking Down - two photos when clicked

Photographer: Ross Millar (twice)

A Group Photograph

A Group Photograph

From the Trig Point - looking towards Cribyn

Photographer: Len Banister

By first Trig point

By first Trig point

Photos: Sue, Roger; ? Gwenda's Camera, Len

Reservoirs and Eileen

Reservoir and Eileen

Views to Cribyn and Fan y Big

Photographer: Ivan Brooks

This map allows you to click on a "Hot Spot" from near where a photo was taken and gives rough direction of shot.

Click for Day 2's map and its extra 74 photos Day 2 Map


Shepardess; George_Hazel; Going Up

Shepardess; George_Hazel; Going Up

Corn du is around the corner of the lower images

Photos: Sue, ? Georges Camera, Sue, George

Wednesday the skies had cleared and we had a wonderful day. One I shall remember for a long time. The walk started with a very steep climb up to a ridge. We were rewarded with great views of a series of lakes, the Neuadd Reservoirs stretching below us. The terrain was easy for a while and we met some shepherds and their dogs gathering the sheep. Then began a wonderful roller-coaster of five peaks, including Pen y Fan (the Highest of the Beacons).

Corn Du

Corn Du - Quite easy to climb ...

... except perhaps the boulders near the top

Photographer: George Davies

Bird

A, rarely seen, male Dotterel!

Taken from the Top of Corn Du

Photographer: George Davies

A Steep descent from the Top

A Steep descent from the Top

A sit down (if clicked) then .. Going Down from Pen y Fan

Photographers: Roger and George

Drinks Break

Drinks Break

At the foot of Pen y Fan

Photographer: Gwenda Hoare

Views

Views - Pen y Fan: ahead; behind;

well behind; lower slope. All With Tiny People

Photographers: George, Sue, Roger, Roger

Robin makes the Top

Robin makes Cribyn Top . . and Barry comes through too

After 2 mins rest, they'll be fit again (badly stitched images!)

Photographer: Len Banister (Twice)

Resting on Cribyn

Resting on Cribyn

Towards: 754 point; 754 point; 754 point and Fan Y Big

Photographers: Sue, Gwenda, Roger

Across the Reservoir

Across the Reservoir

From the Roman Road

Photographer: Sue Coulbeck

The weather was perfect to enjoy the stark beauty of the hills with the strong sunshine throwing the beacons into sharp relief. My appetite for walking was restored.

Corn Du; Pen Y Fan; Cribyn

Corn Du; Pen Y Fan; Cribyn

Looking Back from the Roman Road

Photographer: Sue Coulbeck

Robin on the Roman Road

Robin on the Roman Road

and the saddle between Cribyn and Fan Y Big

Photographer: Gwenda Hoare

Sue, Barry and Robin

Sue, Barry and Robin

Further down the Roman Road

Photographer: Gwenda Hoare

Going up Fan Y Big

Going up Fan Y Big

The resourceful group move on

Photographers: Gwenda and George

A Break from The Wind

A Break from the Wind

Soon to be Turning East then South West

Photographer: Roger Young

No Swimming Today

No Wobbly Stones, no Swimming Today

Stream on the final Descent

Photographer: Ivan Brooks

*   *   Thursday's Walk   *   *

A walk along Offa's Dyke Path in the Black Mountains

Including a visit to Llanthony Priory and a walk down the Cat's Back

This map allows you to click on a "Hot Spot" from near where a photo was taken and gives rough direction of shot.

Click for Day 3's map and its extra 54 photos Day 3 Map

The Hotel Car Park

The Hotel Car Park

Preparing to leave - note castle in the trees

Photographer: Ivan Brooks

Trig Point 464 and Looking Back (South)

Trig Point 464 and Looking Back (South)

Photographers: Sue; - Sue; Roger


West of Offa's Dyke Path


Vale of Ewyas - west of Offa's Dyke Path

Llanthony is in the foothills round to the right

Photographer: Sue Coulbeck (Two merged photos)

The party splits

The party splits

Several stay on the hills - the rest go to Llanthony

Photographer: Gwenda Hoare

Horses above Llanthony

Horses above Llanthony

By those that stayed on Top

Photographers: Gwenda; Sue; - Gwenda; Gwenda

At fifteen miles, Thursday was our longest walk (Len also described it as our hardest). But day three was a fitting end to our holiday. It began with the familiar stiff climb onto the Offas Dyke Path. As the morning advanced we descended through some difficult terrain to approach the romantic ruins of Llanthony Priory, set in a lush green valley.

Priory Approach

Priory Approach

Looking forward to Lunch

Photographers: George; George - Roger; Roger

House and Priory

House and Priory

People are Lunching

Photographer: Harry Hawkins

St John the Baptist Church

St John the Baptist Church

The Priory Church

Sue , now atop hill, took photo last Monday

Priory House

Llanthony Priory House - A Small Hotel

Just 5 rooms (in the tower), and has a bar

Photographer: Sue Coulbeck

LLanthony Priory Arches

LLanthony Priory Arches

Offa's Dyke Path on Hill - Two photos if clicked

Photographers: Roger and Sue

Priory End Views

4 Priory End Views. Inside; Outside -

Left Inside; Inside, down the Arches

Photographer: Harry; Sue - Sue; Roger

As time was pressing, we only had a brief moment to enjoy our only pub stop of the week. Then, because we had descended, it was payback time as we had to retrace our steps upward. What a climb! It seemed never ending as we worked our way back up to the ridge. That afternoon, we had to keep moving as we had a rendezvous with a coach which would take us back to the cars. We were observed, while we slogged along by a group of wild ponies, that live in the region. In truth, they treated us with indifference - they had seen walkers before.

Leaving the Priory

Leaving the Priory. Start Gate; Tree, after 200 yds;

Priory; Priory in Welsh Valley (Southerly View)

Photographer: Roger Young (All Four)

Two Horses

Two Horses - Vale of Ewyas in background

Taken whilst resting on the steep ascent

Photographer: Harry Hawkins

Meeting up after Lunch

Meeting up after Lunch on the ridge

Horses to see; resting after the steep climb

Photographers: Sue; Sue - Gwenda; Sue

The Slog to the Top

The Top is 5 miles from meeting up

1/3rd done but we are running late so it's a slog

Photographer: Sue Coulbeck

A Drink's Break

A Drink Break

We've cut across to Cat's Back path

Photographer: Sue Coulbeck

The last couple of miles we covered the "Cats Back". A narrow ridge which drops away sheer on both sides to show magnificent views. What a great way to end our few days in Wales.

Cats Back Path

Cats Back Path

5 Photos if clicked. Go up 5

Photographers: George; Gwenda; Harry; Ivan; George

Nearing the Peak

Nearing the Peak

5 Photos if clicked. Go up 3, go across 3

Photographers: Gwenda; - x3 George; - Harry

Eileen and Lemmings

Eileen and Lemmings

Cat's Back Peak; then going down

Photographers: Ivan; George

Small Group

Small Group - waiting for a mini-bus (honestly)

Sue; Gwenda; - Group; Large Map

Photographers: Sue; Gwenda's Camera;

*   *   Evening Meal at Bridge End   *   *

Bridge End Inn Entrance

Bridge End Inn Entrance

The start of a pleasant, relaxing evening

Photographer: Sue Coulbeck

Ivan Photographing

Ivan - Probably our "Pub" Court Photographer

A pity I can’t show his walk videos

Photographer: Ross Millar

The last night we gathered for a "last supper" in the "Bridge End Inn" a lovely old pub on the banks of the Usk. It was a chance for us to thank Len and Julie for giving us the opportunity to experience this wonderful country.

Most of the Party

Most of the Party

Just Ivan; Hazel; George; Graham missing

Photographers: Ivan, Gwenda; - Ivan; Ivan

Hazel, George, Graham

Including: Hazel, George and Graham

Sally's gone - crossed the boarder to her sister

Photographer: Ivan; Ivan

Bridge End Inn

Bridge End Inn - Concludes a Wonderful Break

Time for night-caps, others a well deserved rest

Photographers: Harry; Sue

*   *   The Author   *   *

Thanks Ross for writing this at the last moment.

(My couple of additions are in italics)

And thanks to everybody for their photographic contributions (although it did make my job even harder in choosing and sorting). I've counted that I have used 266 out of 459 photos.

Harry Hawkins

Ross Millar

Ross Millar

Our Author

Photographer: Gwenda Hoare

Ross Millar

Brecon Beacons