Our group always has a weekend away at this time of year--March--and it is usually very well supported and this was the case again here.People are usually desperate to get away after a long winter.We always get people join us from other groups too which I really appreciate.Showing Wales off, to people who don't know the areas we choose, is fantastic.
Colin and John had suggested Lledrod for this one, based at a bed and breakfast there, Brynarth.
This proved to be a most excellent choice of venue.Most people know the coast at Aberystwyth but we had chosen walks that would show off the beautiful countryside in and around the surrounding area of Lledrod, about 9 miles inland from Aberystwyth.
The three of us had gone to do a reccie last July and the big question was, would we remember the walks, having done them so long ago!!
I had popped to The Hafod estate a week or so before the weekend away, just to remind myself of that estate as there are so much choice of paths, but I was able to sort out a route to show off the full beauty of this lovely old estate.
21 of us assembled at Strata Florida near Pontrhydfendigaid for our Friday afternoon walk, with Sian joining us just for this walk.
This was a 6 miler through fields to the main centre of Pontrhydfendigaid, through a caravan park and some good tracks though muddy in places, then through some forestry where a lot of trees had recently been felled, past an old house and back to the start.
A great little walk to get the weekend off to a flying start and stretching the legs, ready for the next two full days of walking.
Some people were staying elsewhere but the rest of us then drove in convoy to Brynarth where 16 of us were staying.
The others staying at Brynarth joined us later and after a quick lie down for some and a quick brush up too, we shared cars to return to Pontrhydfendigaid for our evening meal.
We had taken over all of their (small) bar area.
This was classic pub food all served really well considering the pub was not used to having a full house. After a tasty meal, some chose scrummy puds for dessert and it was a really lovely evening.
After a good nights sleep and a yummy breakfast at Brynarth, we assembled in their car park ready for an 8 mile circular walk starting from the b and b.
John, Alasdair and Lisa joined us for the day and it was great to see them again.
This walk, again muddy in parts, meandered through fields and other lovely green areas, under a rather lovely railway bridge and beside the River Ystwyth.
At one point we had to duck under barbed wire to avoid some very deep potholes, escaping from the field via a gate and arriving near a very lovely suspension bridge across the river.
This was not for the vertiginally challenged amongst us, and luckily for them (certainly me!!) we did not have to cross it but many tried it out for good measure.I can vouch for the fact that is was very wobbly.
Onwards to Black Covert a lovely woodland area where many of the trees had fallen in the recent high winds and were left strewn across our walking path.We all had to limbo up or limbo down to get under/over the sometimes huge girthed obstacles.
Safely at the other end, we found lots of picnic benches where we stopped in this rather lovely setting, right by the river for our lunch.
After lunch we crossed the road and made our way up a steep incline and through some lovely woods eventually coming out onto the road with just a short stroll left back to the b and b.
After a nice rest and well earned cuppa we reassembled in the car park, for the drive to The Talbot pub in Tregaron for our evening meal.
This proved to be a lovely place and the food was really great with scrummy desserts on offer.
The next day was our walk at The Hafod estate.The day dawned sunny and blue skied.
This is a most wonderful place with lots of walking paths through gardens, woodlands, beside the river and passed waterfalls, and with lots of different kinds of bridges on route, some rustic, some wooden, some metal and a chain bridge, with someof them being over water, and some spanning ravines.
At the end of the walk is a lovely church which had some restoration being carried out and unfortunately was closed.
Back at the car park it was time for goodbyes.
What a fantastic weekend this had been.We had been blessed with dry weather and a sunny Sunday to round off the weekend in true style.
Many thanks to James and Stuart for a lovely stay at Brynarth and to Colin and John for suggesting this area.
The walks had been superb, the venues for the evening meals great choices, and all in all a great three days of walking and socialising.
Many thanks to the people who regularly support this event and to the new people who joined us from other groups and contributed in making this a very lovely weekend.
About 10 of us stopped near Tregaron on the way home for a well earned cuppa and cake.
Generally when one yearly event/festival ends, the next one is being planned and this was the case for us this time.Paul who is the co-ordinator for the Somerset group and I, are planning a joint event for both our groups in the Cheddar area.
Look out for it online later in the year and join us next year.You will not be disappointed!!