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Tuesday, 17 November 2020

TRAVEL DIARY: PEN Y FAN MOUNTAIN


In February 2018 I started on a personal fitness journey to get into a good place to walk up Pen Y Fan mountain in August 2019 to scatter my Daddy's ashes at the top. So I was nudged not only to become healthier in myself, but also to walk in the shoes of my Daddy on his mountain journeys he absolutely loved to do! 

Pen Y Fan mountain is the highest peak in South Wales, it is in the Brecon Brecon Nation park. The mountain is 886 metres above sea level and the highest British peak south of Cadair Idris in Snowdonia. Pen Y Fan is the highest point of the historic county of Brecknockshire.
 

Me and my family went to Wales for the weekend at the beginning of  August 2019, to carry out my Daddy's wishes which was to scatter him at his favourite place that is at the top of Pen Y Fan mountain, where he had travelled to many times with his best friend and fell in love with the place because of the view.


The family travelled up from London and Essex on the Friday afternoon where then, we all met up together for drinks and dinner to make a plan. We all said our good nights and had an early one to be up and ready to go nice and early on the Saturday morning for the lots of walking and carrying out our Dad's dream and once that's done and the day is over to then travel home on the Sunday morning. 

We had 20 family members in total in Wales for the weekend with also 5 friends (that are really family rather than friends) that joined us on the Saturday morning.

THE PATH 

The locals and regulars call it "The Motorway" that is a four mile circular walk from storey arms or also near point of Pont ar Daf car park to the top. 

A plan was made between us all to climb / walk the most simple and clear route as there was so many people that had different levels of fitness walking Pen Y Fan. My Dad's bestfriend that is a professional at mountain walks was with us all so we had some guidance. 

17 out of 25 family members walked up the top of Pen Y Fan and we all started off together but half way though we are branched off because some was faster then others, but we met back together at the first top bit before all coming together to make the final bit of the journey to the top point of the mountain.   
 

The climb was a leisurely and easy at the start and in between going up, while parts of the path of it was up hill more with lots of uneven stonage along the way towards the top. As we were making the journey to the top we had to be aware of our surrounding because of the path going smaller and thinner, so we had to be smart as well as keeping an eye on the kids and kept our hand free just in case of anything that happens. This walk was definitely challenge for some people but if you are looking to do something adventurous but at the same time if you are nervous you can goes as slow as you want. it's so worth it to do just for you seeing the beautiful view. 


WHAT TO WEAR & PACK


No matter what time of the year you look to visit/walk up a mountain, you can get and experience all four seasons at once in a day! so when dressing for the day, layering is the key!

- For footwear, comfort is the key when it comes to walking, either wear a pair of sturdy walking boots or walking shoes. 

- Take a warmer layer for when you get to the top, even a hat to keep the heat in, because sometimes it can get so cold!

- Pack a rain jacket as even the most hot and sunny day can turn into a wet one!

- In your backpack put in LOTS of water and energy snacks. There are no fountains along the way and your journey to the top will make you thirster then usual. 


WHAT I AM WEARING 
Army Trousers, Army & Navy stores UK available here
Walking Boots, Trespass available here
Black vest & Long sleeve top, Primark available here & here


THE SUMMIT

When you get to the top after your walk you feel so pretty darn good and proud of yourself and when looking around you can see others are too, which every should rightly so! standing there and seeing it puts a smile on your face! The actual summit will maybe have a queue, which we did but we didn't have to long to wait long at all!

Me and Hubby at the top of the mountain 

Me with my 2 middle sisters at the top point on Pen Y Fan
My Two son's proud they got to the top of Pen Y Fan for their grandad seeing the view he would talk about. 


After our walk we sat by the stream at the end of the mountain with our feet in it, to get some relief in them for the several hours walk we did...Awww felt so good!!! When we all finished up relaxing, chatting and sorting ourselves out, we headed back to our friends camper van for a feast that ended up us having lots of laughter on memories about my dad. which by the way our dinner was burgers, rice and dhal which my dad used to cook for us regularly as kids and adults. 


After dinner our beautiful friends organised their own mini awards presentation by giving out medals to everyone for walking up Pen Y Fan mountain.


WHERE WE STAYED 
Premier Inn, Merthyr Tydfil

We stayed a short drive away from the Pen Y Fan mountain, we slept at the Premier Inn, Merthyr Tydfil Hotel. The hotel was clean and cosy with us having two double rooms for each family unit. 

This hotel is known and on trip advisor info here or premier inn own website info here. We drove to Pen Y Fen and parked up the car there, but if you do not want to drive you can book a taxi the night before your walk. This hotel is used regular but people that do walks up the mountain.  

HOW WE GOT THERE

We all travelled together in our own little families and went in all our own cars...While we were all travelling on the road to Wales, we had a family group chat and it started with one care selfie with others to follow...Plus we had to just in case that one of us got lost on the way LOL! and yes it would have been me...But we didn't because my hubby was driving both ways! hehehe...
Car selfies that were posted on our family group chat 
and what fun we have on there - even rudeness LOL! 
don't worry over 18s are only on the messages hehehe...

We were only away for two nights but it was such a lovely little trip and a special one for my family, 
whether your gonna go and do it for a adventure with friends, a general walk or something special with the family, I highly recommend this if you are looking to explore walks in the UK!  
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