It did occur to me whether I was completely insane to write about visiting Wales in the rain, in the “Just For Fun” category of my blog, but as it turned out it rained in all the right places – more of that later.
First, on Thursday night, my friends and I had a decision to make once flood alerts had been announced for The Lake District at the weekend. Since the original idea for the trip had been to climb Coniston Old Man during the Saturday afternoon and wild camp near the summit to enable us to take sunset and sunrise photos, the prospect of decidedly inclement weather gave rise to a plan B – Wales. No flood alerts there.
So, with a few hastily made phone calls all the necessary arrangements were made and on Saturday morning, 4am, I leapt out of bed (OK, slight exaggeration) and within half-an-hour I’m en-route to pick up Clive and call round to Richard’s place (yes, another Richard) as he was doing the driving.
Listening to the weather reports during the journey, we congratulated ourselves on what a good decision we’d made: Flood alerts – Wales 0 The Lake District 41.
During our journey across to Wales, Clive’s wife booked a campsite next to the river Usk – a few miles north of Talybont Reservoir. It transpires Clive was going to stay at the site a few years previously, but flood warnings meant he and his son had to look for higher ground. I couldn’t tell you how confidence inspiring that little tidbit of news was. Nevertheless, it was booked and that was that.
Given that we had plenty of time before it got dark, we headed for Brecon to checkout a few camping and walking shops, not to mention the tearooms.
Clive and Richard leave a somewhat uninspiring indoor market
10:40 by the cathedral clock and time to leave Brecon to head for the campsite
We’re a good hour from the campsite so we go via pen-y-fan, one of a group of three summits, Clive tells us, the military use for training. Apparently, they’re expected to run up and down these mountains with a full pack. Unfortunately, as we arrived the rain put in an appearance and we decided to let others sample the delights of traditional welsh weather.
We pressed on and eventually came to Talybont reservoir where the rain was holding off, just.
Pumping station, Talybont reservoir
Talybont Pumping Station – a closer view
Feeling a few spots of rain we got back in the car and carried on ’til we came across a bridge with some promising waterfalls…
A nice pot of tea
And a large piece of coffee cake
We arrived at the campsite just after 5pm and had the tents up very shortly afterwards. The campsite manager allowed the three of us to stay at Camping Club member rates, because Clive is a member. Another result.
Tents pitched, dinner cooked (sausages in a tomato and chilli sauce, none of your packet sauce either) with couscous, and a bottle of Wainwright’s Golden Ale down by the river. Does life get any better?
About 8.30pm it started to rain so we turned in for an early night. As I said, it rained in all the right places.
All shots taken on my Canon G12 compact camera.