16 October 2015
With Jim at the wheel, it was only about four hours before we reached Cwmfforest in the Black Mountains. We stopped for tea at the "Britannia Inn" in Crickhowell and made arrangements to pick up the train and bus travellers in our party. In the afternoon some of us made a short circular walk around Castell Dinas, and in the evening, the hosteleries in Talgarth were on the agenda for some of us. You will see on this page that we had quite an active first day in the Brecons.
The M4 and the toll bridge were our route into Wales. A bit of Eddie Stobart spotting is always fun, and today we counted 6 trucks in England and 3 in Wales, the score on the return journey being Wales 0 and England 3; sounds a bit like Rugby - why did I mention that? Anyway, "The Britannia Inn" in Crickhowell was our first stop, to make arrangements to pick up those of our party who had come by public transport. Cwmfforest lies a bit off the beaten track, which is good for getting onto the mountains, but can require some additional transport logistics. Tea at "The Britannia" provided a nice break before the final leg of our journey to Cwmfforest.
It's always nice, when arriving at a hotel or hostel to be able to dump one's baggage in the room and do a little bit of initial exploring. That's what happened here. First, I got talking to the lady of the house who actually hailed from near Munich. Her daughter was in Sweden, married - would you believe? - to a Swede. The daughter was instrumental in bringing over the Swedish Stove, of which more below.
Tony suggested a walk around our immediate area - a walk to provide a useful "leg stretch" as well as giving us a short introduction to this part of the Principality (Wales that is). The walk was not quite four miles and we not only saw something of the nice local landscape but also learnt that, for our visit, conditions under foot were generally good, apart from the odd lively ford and only the merest smidgeon of mud. (You might also wish to see some quantitative information on this walk.)
In the evening, some of us ventured north to Talgarth, whose "Bridge End Inn" was our aim. It was crowded, so Jim's contingent went to the nearby Talgarth Hotel. The recommendation for the Bridge End Inn was, no doubt, well intended. Unfortunately, my culinary experience of the said hostelry was not really a matter of perfection. The food was a while coming, and its quality could have been better. However, it was getting late, so there really was very little time to raise any comments. For our subsequent evenings we made other arrangements. So ended our first day. Many impressions good, but alas the culinary impressions not really quite in the top league.