Thursday, August 8, 2013 @ 7:40 PM in 2013 Europe
Today was another one of those awesome days that makes me thankful I'm able to be on this trip. Brecon Beacons National Park is a giant park in South Wales home to several tall peaks. I originally wanted to find a hostel up here and hike around but due to unavailability with them, I was forced to stay down in Cardiff instead.
That wasn't really an issue though. After doing some research I found out there are buses that run fairly regularly up to the park from Cardiff. In case anyone finds this blog post on the internet or has this question, in order to get to Brecon from Cardiff, you need the T4 bus from Cardiff Central Bus Station. This runs Monday - Saturday at 2 hour intervals. You can get the Explorer ticket for 7.30 pounds which lets you hop on and off the bus system all day. If you're traveling on Sunday, you need the B1 bus.
After looking at several of the trails, I picked Storey Arms as my starting and ending point. The T4 bus makes stops here and it's a great trailhead for Corn Du and Pen y Fen (the highest peak in the park at 886 meters).
I made the mistake of reading the wrong bus schedule (I was reading the Sunday schedule) and missed the first T4 bus. I had to sit around and wait until 10:20 to catch the next T4. This got me up to Storey Arms just before noon.
The hike starts off at a pretty standard incline which brings you up to a really nice viewing area of Corn Du and the surrounding area. You then descend down to a stream before making a really good climb up to the peak. The last 400 meters are extremely steep (or you can take the easy way via a side trail that goes around the back).
When I got to the top, dark clouds were rolling in and I was convinced I was going to get rained on. Rather than sit around there and get wet I set off to Pen y Fan. That peak isn't too far away and has some great views. While I was there I had some lunch and admired the scenery.
Amazingly, the dark clouds blew by and I was left with some really nice blue skies. It was only about 1:00 by now and I didn't have to be back to the trailhead until 4:22 for the last bus back to Cardiff. There were some other trails I saw that went in roughly the right direction I needed to go (aka: not the opposite direction) so I set off for them.
The weather continued to improve and the views were absolutely amazing. I hiked until 2 when I decided to turn around. On the way back I passed pretty close to Corn Du summit so I went up there again to relax in the comfort of the views since the first time I was escaping the rain.
I hiked around aimlessly a little more just to kill some time then went back down to the trailhead. The bus was a little late but I made it back to Cardiff around 6pm. I had some curry chips (french fries covered in curry) on the way back to the hostel where I showered and did some ghetto laundry.
I really needed today to recharge me. Hiking around Cardiff has been nice but getting out and seeing some amazing views was a much welcome change.
Tomorrow I'll probably make a working day here at the hostel. There are a few lingering emails I need to clear up and I also need to research were I'm heading next. On Saturday I'm going to go back up to the Beacons if the weather is nice and try to find some more places to hike around.
View from Pen y Fan
Corn Du - Brecon Beacons National Park
View from Corn Du
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daily journal, wales, cardiff, brecon beacons
Posted from: Wales