Day 2: Black Mountain to Ysgŵd-ffordd – 27.84km, 734m ascent / 780m descent
It’s amazing the effect of a decent night’s sleep, and last night’s was just such a night. I woke feeling a lot more positive. My pack up was more efficient too. although I still wasn’t quite fast enough to do it with a dry tent.
I made a bit of a wrong turn on the descent to Felindre, turning myself in a complete 180°, before I realised something wasn’t quite right and retraced my steps. The rest of that part of the walk went smoothly, thankfully.
The next hill was all long grass and hard going. I was accosted at the top by an old guy on a quad bike. He initially ignored me, then doubled back to “chat”. He seemed to show great interest in where I stopped last night and where I’d be tonight. Satisfied that it wasn’t going to be on his land, he scooted off, but popped up a couple more times in successive fields, further reinforcing the feeling of being under surveillance.
Rhuvid Bank provided a nice line of trees along a field boundary to take a rest under as a light rain shower rolled in.
The descent by Bryn Mawr, and subsequent picking up of a rambling byway, slowed everything down, not helped by a couple of dodgy waymarks sending me the wrong way, and requiring a bit of logic to recover the situation. Back on the right track, a little copse near Bryngydfa was really nice.
It started raining as I climbed up by the wind farm and the next bit turned into a bit of a slog into Llanbadarn Fynydd. I arrived in the village with the tank pretty empty, and immediately went wrong in looking for the shop – heading in the wrong direction, past a closed pub and into the village proper. The shop was back on the main road though. It was too important to miss, so I had to go back. I arrived at the shop cum petrol station down to my last 50ml of water.
I cleared the shelves of the last two big 1.5L bottles of water, a cold drink for now and loads of confectionary and general treat type comestibles. So much that carrying it was difficult, resulting in me initially leaving my Pacerpoles in the shop, until the guy behind the counter ran out to me.
It took a while to pack everything away, but the Atom+ swallowed it all, somehow. I headed back onto the trail with a shortcut by fording the River Ithon, hitting the path about 50m on from where my wrong turn had previously taken me.
Things improved as the climb up to Moel Dod began – the views opened out and the path became pleasant. On top of the ridge along to Yr Allt was delightful, and I even considered stopping early and taking advantage of the pleasant surroundings for tonight’s camp. It would leave too much to do tomorrow, though, and I wasn’t happy with how close farm buildings were below, so carried on.
A temporary descent to Tynypant and reascent at Bwlch showed that the legs were close to done for the day, and I arrived on top of Ysgŵd-ffordd and looked for somewhere to pitch, finding a reasonably level grassy patch below the trig point and largely obscured from the path.