Sunday, 7 August 2022

To Gwarffynnon

Via Sennybridge and Llandovery

We decided to make the most of some beautiful weather and travel via the Brecon Beacons. 

The dryness of this summer was obvious as we passed the Brecon reservoirs, most of which were no more than ⅓ full. Car parks were, however, completely full and overflowing, and it was only 10am.  It was probably a good job we’d set off fairly early, but we had planned to turn a 2½ hour journey into a 6 hour day out anyway.

Our first short stop was at Garw Nant in the Beacons. It’s a bit off the hikers’ trails (empty car park!) but has plenty of facilities. Great for a tea & comfort break.

We avoided Brecon (jazz festival weekend) and cut across to Sennybridge (more tea!) then travelled through lovely scenery to Llandovery. We’ve driven through it many times but never stopped there. It was quite a surprise. It’s only a small place, mostly closed on a Sunday (this is Wales) but had quite a bit of interest. A ruined castle and a really unusual monument to Prince Llewelyn ap Gruffydd (1223-1282), the last  of his line. The buildings in the town had lots of character. We really enjoyed a stroll around (and some tea before leaving!).

We travelled on through Lampeter to visit some nearby gardens, Cae Hir (Long Field). They were beautifully maintained and, despite the climate challenges, colourful and interesting. Their one drawback, however, was “the long field” went up a steep hillside; an unsolicited  cardio-vascular workout. There were benches to recover at suitable intervals, thankfully.

Apart from tea, they sold a local ice-cream, made by Italian descendants*. Not an artificial ingredient in sight. 20% cream plus 60% milk. No flavourings. Just like ice-cream tasted in the 50’s and 60’s.

We’ve settled in to familiar surroundings, looking forward to revisiting the area.

* (Italian PoWs were billeted in South Wales and were “safe enough” to work on nearby farms. A great many met local girls and stayed.  Italian ice-cream & coffee shops are still a feature of seaside resorts and valleys’ towns.)