The weekend's plan was to explore the western side of the Brecon Beacons, an area I have not experienced much of, if at all. The first climb started with Pen y Fan in the centre of the park and one of the more popular tourist attractions. Climbing a mountain straight after work is strangely refreshing but it wasn’t until the following morning when any real photographic opportunities really presented themselves.
The day started at 4am on Pen y Fan. Looking over the valleys below and witnessing the cloud inversion lift as the summer sun quickly broke through the clouds was very uplifting. Shortly leaving Pen y Fan and Corn Du we headed back down the mountain to find breakfast and begin the real fun part of the journey.
On Saturday the plan was to do a fairly lengthy hike across the Fans and end up at our campsite at Llyn y Fan Fawr under Fan Brycheinoig. It was an extremely hot and sunny day, with temperatures around 32 degrees and little to no shade throughout the day, but the thought of the lake at the end of the day with cold fresh water and a wild swim kept us going.
Fast forward eight hours and twelve miles across the Fans and we arrived at Llyn y Fan Fawr at 5pm ready to pitch, eat and enjoy some well deserved rest. With our plan for the evening to wander back on ourselves to view the sunset over Llyn y Fan Fach and Picws Du, we had one final push which was to climb back up Fan Foel. Exhausted from the day already, the first thing we did when we reached the summit and our vantage point was to sit down and enjoy the view. With our legs weary and bodies aching from mild sun burn and heat, we didn’t need much more than the view that we were graced with.
Unlike the previous evening on Pen y Fan and Corn Du, which lacked much in the way of clouds or colour, this time the sky erupted with colour. Casting a deep orange across the mountains before us, the contrast between the sandstones and rich greens was mesmerising.
As a first visit to the west side of the Brecon Beacons, I was truly spoilt with the views, which have now spurred on a summer of continued visits to the area.
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