24th April 2018
Weather: Cloudy. Rain showers, becoming heavy from mid afternoon.
This was a high level route on the Black Mountains, with fabulous views Eastwards into Herefordshire and Westwards to more Black Mountain scenery, including the Llanthony valley. Showers drifted across this view, cloud gradually obscuring more until in the mist on highest part at 702m. At this point (12:45) met my first people of the day: a couple of cheerful ladies who had hauled up from Hay & sat down for some tea. Shortly afterwards spoke to a group of 3 who were heading to Pandy. There were two people following me, gradually catching up, until below Hay Bluff I seemed to draw away again. I suspect this is 2 of the group of 3 Owen & I spoke to two days ago. (Say hi if this is you!)
I tried to hold out for a tea shop, but had to sit down 15:30, still a km short, for snack.
The forecast spurred me on to a getaway by 8:15
hoping to beat what was coming later
It proved fairly accurate.
Goodbye to the Old Pandy Inn
Shortly crossing the National Park boundary
My first follower of the day
Someone is preparing big scale topiary
Shortly reaching the Offa’s Dyke path. 14 miles seemed ‘short’
It had been raining lightly
An early “Woo hoo” moment looking back the way I had come (South) on Hatterall Hill
Same direction a bit higher
464 metres on H Hill, looking East
Just past the 531m spot height, looking North
Ponies on the slopes
Looking North West towards Llanthony
The walking was fast, as the going underfoot was level, often gravelled
and approaching the highest part of the plateau, paved
Without this, it would have been a bog trot. A necessary evil for a popular route: I remember both Shining Tor (Derbyshire) and Pen-y-Ghent (Yorkshire) before they were surfaced: 100 metre wide boggy scars in the latter.
Cairns in the mist was a bit eerie
Descending out of the cloud, looking SE towards Black Hill
Hay Bluff from below
There was still a wee hill to climb, and rain coming in heavily
a retrospective in the last couple of Km
Hay Castle (and then a cafe, all encased in wet waterproofs)