By: Blonde Two
Here, dear Blondees and Blondettes, is the other half of the Two Blondes’ Welsh mountain adventure story. I told you about our Day One ascent of a very wet Pen y Fan. So, of course, it was predictable that Day Two was clear and dry (there was even something weird that shone in the sky at least twice).
For this not-so-wet day, we decided to take a circular route around the nature reserve at Craig Cerrig-Gleisiad a Fan Frynych (I can pronounce very few of those words). I was expecting pretty spring flowers, a stream and a few tress. What we got was impressive to say the least.After a quick Bimble up some steps, we Blondes found ourselves in the most amazing natural amphitheatre consisting of a green, stream watered valley surrounded by soaring craggy cliffs on one side and a beautifully crafted stone wall on the other.
As we stopped for coffee to admire our find; I found myself looking up at the shaded, north facing cliffs. Although we planned to set off in the opposite direction, it seemed almost inevitable that we would end our circular walk on top of them. And today, there was going to be no mist to hide the steep drops.
We had a great walk along the wall and up the side of the valley. Then a steepish path took us onto the exposed moorland of Fan Frynych where we found a dragon.At this point we registered that all of the uphill work had led us to the top of the crag. We had a choice; a gentle (Welsh gentle is not Dartmoor gentle) meander down through the valley, or a daring walk along the cliff edge. Some cliffs have fences to keep you from the edge but this path went inside the fence and kept us as close to the edge as possible.Being Blonde, we took the clifftop route. I was surprisingly comfortable with our precarious position and even managed to stop and take photos of the lovely valley below. Until, that is, the inevitable truth of, “What goes up, must come down.” struck me. We had walked continuously uphill for 4ish km and the resulting incline back to our starting point lost 229 metres height in 500 distance (Pythagorus would have been proud).Luckily for us, there was a fence to hang on to as we descended (sorry Mr Farmer). Blonde One did her very best mountain goat impression and got down without a fuss. I was not so dignified and managed to sit down three times. Only one of these was by accident. To be honest, I am surprised that there is any fabric left on the backside of my walking trousers. Blonde-Sliding, it would appear, is the new Blonde-Bimbling!