Saturday, August 10, 2013 @ 8:00 PM in 2013 Europe
Today I went back to the Brecon Beacons to hike some more. The weather was calling for nice temperatures and no rain which made me even more eager to go. I was debating getting on the 8:20am bus but decided to sleep in a bit and instead get on the same 10:20am bus as yesterday. That decision had the potential of coming back to haunt me as the day went on. The plan was to hike from Storey Arms all the way to Brecon. It's a 10 mile hike and I had 4 hours to do it. The last bus to Cardiff leaves Brecon at 4:00pm sharp.
Apparently there was some kind of festival up in Brecon so the bus was absolutely packed. We were running a little late as it was and they kept trying to cram more and more people on. Finally we made it to Storey Arms and I had to push my way from the back of the bus up to the front to get off.
Already running a little late, I ate a quick apple and set off. I made really good time up to Corn Du where I stopped for lunch and to enjoy the nice view. I worked up quite a sweat power hiking up to the top so I had to put my jacket on to keep myself warm.
Hiking to Pen Y Fan was easy and then I set off for Cribyn peak. The ascents up to these peaks is really steep but I made pretty good time. I was at the top of Cribyn by 1:45 so I sat there and enjoyed the views until 2. Cell reception was spotty so I hiked down toward Fan y Big and checked the map when I was in a saddle between the two peaks. It was 2:15 by now and Google was telling me it would be a 2 hour hike to the bus station. Hmm, I was cutting it close.
There wasn't time to summit Fan y Big so I started walking back toward town. The trail was easy to follow and I passed by a lot of sheep grazing on the intense green grass. I finally made it off of the trail and got a little confused. The trail split up into a mountain biking only path and a walkers only path. I started down the walkers path and it was overrun with thorny vines and other plants that were intent on tugging at my clothes and headphones.
Eventually I had enough of the trail when it started cutting to the east (the opposite direction I had to go). I sprinted back about a half mile to where I crossed a road and started following that instead. By now it was a little after 3:00 and I still had 4 miles to cover. Not looking good.
I took out my headphones, turned off my ipod, attached the chest and waist straps and started running at a pretty hefty pace for about a half hour. After dodging a few cars on some extremely narrow roads I finally made it to Brecon. I still had about 20 minutes before the bus came so I slowed to a walk and made my way to the bus stop.
I was completely drenched in sweat, my pants were covered in leaf stains from running back up the walkers path and my sides were cramped up a bit but I made it.... only to encounter a huge line of people from the Brecon festival trying to also catch the last bus to Cardiff.
Fortunately we were all able to cram on and the journey home began. It was nice to sit down for a bit after the unplanned sprint after several hours of rather intense hiking. I got back to the hostel, showered and then devoured some of the sundried tomato/mozzarella tortellini that I also had last night.
It's Saturday night and everyone's getting dressed up and ready to party. All I can think about is how comfortable the (rather uncomfortable) hostel bed is going to feel tonight.
Here's a link to today's hike: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/3060357
Posted from: Wales