Great views across to Sugar Loaf and further round to Abergavenny and in the opposite direction across to the Brecon Beacons.
After a short road walk we hit the fell side steeply and it wasn’t long before my insulation layer came off. At this time of year the bracken had died off and it did all it could to trip us up. On the other hand the yellow Broom was starting to appear and the Bilberry too.
A large quarry came into view and I believe if you have time to look you can find fossils of trilobites. We worked our way around to the left of the quarry and found a track (one of many unmarked) which was heading in the right direction for the top of Gilwern Hill.
Once we levelled out the wind was icy cold and it certainly wasn’t a place to linger around. The very large cairn came into view and we quickly reached it.
It’s a fine viewpoint, a few pictures taken, a brief look at the map to name the other mountains and we set off again.
Now we headed for the mast on Carreg Gwyir. In front of the mast there were many mountain ponies. Sheila’s not a fan of mountain horses after our tent and kit was almost demolished by over friendly types when we did the Coast to Coast.
There’s quite a few high boundary stones to be found and we photographed a couple of them.
A good 4x4 track leads south from the mast and meets a minor road. On the map a pub icon is shown so we headed off to it. It looked shut so disappointedly we retraced our path and carried on south, picking up part of the Iron Mountain Trail. It looks a very interesting walk and one to make a note of.
Just beyond the boundary line we got a good view down into Blaenavon and a number of small lakes. The Pontipool to Blaenavon railway weaved its way down the valley.
We retraced our path, heading for a quarry building to get out of the wind and have some lunch. It was a hovel but at least it was shelter. Half way back down to the minor road a lad on a trials bike waited for us to descend. We chatted for 5 or 10 minutes and then went our separate ways.
We checked the map and decided to return to base via a good path which circles the east side of Carreg Gywir. This is a terrific route with wonderful views down the valley to Govilon and beyond. It’s a very steep valley with lots of industrial archeology.
Our next objective was also clear today.
Back at base I had a real headache which I put down to the fierce wind and icy blasts.
We had now got our bearings of the area, this was our first visit here.
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