Hiking and camping at Pen y Fan, Wales

Brecon Beacons National Park, southern Wales. Journey from London: 4 hours driving.

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Neuadd Reservoir

We got up on a Saturday morning in August to pack our camping gear and head off from south-east London to the National Park. Having prepared nothing the day before, we had to make a pit-stop at a camping/outdoors store on the way to buy a stove and some camping food. We arrived in Wales at about 1pm and stopped at a lovely local Welsh pub for lunch, the Red Cow Inn in Pontsticill, before starting our hike from the Neuadd Car Park.

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Pen y Fan at point 5 on this map.

We set off from the car park at about 2.30pm and done this route anti-clock wise. We took our time as we were not in a rush. Take a peak at the snaps below.

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Peaks: Corn Du on the left; Pen y Fan on the right

We arrived at Pen y Fan at about 5pm after lots of ups and downs with our heavy rucksack and from that point onwards we kept on walking looking for a good, suitable spot to camp. At about 7pm we settled down, put out tent up, made dinner and watched the sunset before going to bed.

Wild camping in a beautiful place, watching the sunset and being alone with my dog and my partner is without a doubt one of the few things that makes me feel elated, like I have butterflies in my stomach.

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Camping hack: buy camping food… and bring these little bottles of wine!
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Watching the sunset before bedtime

One of the things I love doing while camping is watching the stars and little had I known that the day I chose to camp out in the mountains was also the day of the Perseid Meteor Shower. I woke up at 2.30am that night and felt so sleepy and warm inside my sleeping bag that I did not feel like getting up for anything. But after about a 10 minute battle in my mind I got out of my sleeping bag, opened the tent, looked at the sky and my jaws dropped – I did not hesitate for a second, put my shoes on and got out of the tent.

The sky was absolutely stunning, I had not seen the sky like that in a long time. I could see the Milky Way with my naked eye just above our tent, right in the centre of the sky.  Many big, bright shooting stars falling from the sky, so many stars, I was hypnotised!

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I had to blend two of the same photos to get this image. I played with different ISOs and different exposure times so that I could get the land and also most of the stars.

 

 

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I am very pleased with this image, this is just one shot aimed at the very centre of the sky – where the Milky Way was. All I did in this image was put a bit of contrast and bring out the colours of the Milky Way.
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Almost time for the sunrise

I decided to go back to the tent after I could not take anymore of the freezing weather. I could not feel my hands and toes, and it took me a long time to fall asleep again – but to me it was worth it!

We woke up early on Sunday, at about 6.30am, had breakfast and started getting our things ready before we headed back to the car.

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By 9am we were back in the car park, ready to drive back to London. We got back to London reasonable early, about 12.45pm, and had lunch in our favourite pub in Hammersmith where they serve Thai food.

I hope you liked reading about my mini adventure, and who knows maybe you will feel inspired to do something different with your day off?

=)

 

 

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