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Monday, 20 October 2014

Yet More of Lucky’s Adventures in Wales (yes , its Part C)

not entirely sure what lucky is doing in this pic. he seems to be licking some plants
Following our short expeditions to Nant-y-Moch and Hengwm, we transferred our attentions a bit further South for the bagging of Waun Claerddu, a Marilyn poised on the very edge of a huge, brown and reasonably empty and beautiful wilderness – a superb and, I'd go as far as to say, smashing area for an undisturbed wander amongst bogs and rough grass and little tarns and knobbly tops which stretch to far distant views of …… wind farms. Excellent practise area for Scotland, in fact.
kites arriving for tea
But first, we watched the kites being fed at Nant yr Arian and in-between climbed Pendinas – a small hill with a Waterloo monument on top just outside Aberystwyth – both in heaving rain and in-between downpours the bagging of Trichrug, a small top hidden away in deepest sheep country.
draws drum ridges
And also at either end of this adventure, a short trip to Howgill-ish ridges of Draws Drum a 573 metre HuMP, accompanied by a pointy Dewey Pen Dihewyd and a final walk to Drybedd, back at Nant-y-Moch, a hill skirted around on one of the Linney/Knipe backpacking forays and which was no less rough the second time around.
So, back to Waun Claerddu.
waun claerddu
It started with a search party – an RAF search dog in a van with a man and a vehicle full of soldiers enquiring as to whether or not I’d met any other soldiers at all…. anywhere…  I hadn’t and neither had Lucky, so we wandered off up through the tussocks to find our first top – the top, in fact, of Waun Claerddu – two cairns half a click apart and the main object or our attentions.
domen milwyn
Smug from my conquest of Waun Claeddu, I wandered towards my second target – a far distant and fairly pointy Dewey called Domen Milwyn. The route took me to the shores of a tarn – one Llyn Fyrddon Fawr and then into a wobbling bog, where GPS track recording my panic-filled teeterings would have spelled the words “aaargh” and “glug”  had I  a GPS with me, which I hadn’t. I trusted on the buoyancy, or at least, naivety in terms of bog-experience of Lucky the dog and was disappointed to learn that he sank almost as quickly as me though he did blunder into some really sloppy bits  - really just floating moss, in fact. Lucky also found this experience disappointing, I believe.
lots of tarns
Eventually, a way through the morass was found and, after ejecting some sheep from a sheltered slab, we settled down exhausted and with wet socks and paws to our lunch out of the wind and in the sun. I cheered myself up with an egg butty and a banana whilst Lucky tucked into the now traditional winalot biccies. He was specially taken by the star-shaped ones which he ate first, I noticed. (fascinating stuff, this, innit?)
It was at this point that four blokes appeared on what sounded like very large lawnmowers, but were actually whining trail bikes. They rode about generally visiting various hilltops quickly and with much noise and fumes,  scattering the sheep and eventually they rode off in a blue haze of what smelled like paraffin into the distance.
claerddu bothy
So we bagged our top and returned through the wobbly bog to Llyn Fyrddon Fawr which presented a few nice tent pitches – and then an attractive grassy ridge overlooking Llyn Fyrddon Fach and by devious ways to the Claerddu bothy and, eventually the road where the knipemobile was parked.
lucky heading for the pools of teifi
But what struck me about the place was the apparently massive area of wild stuff to the immediate East. Miles and miles of it. And there’s a trail from Aberystwyth  almost to the Pools of Teifi which would start off a few days trekking through this lovely stuff…  Its on the “list of things to do”
nant-y-moch from drybedd
The final walk doesn’t have many pictures and I’m not sure why. This was a return to the Nant-y-Moch area for the bagging of Drybedd, a Dewey which me and Dawn had passed near a couple of years ago. In fact, there’s a little byway over it’s shoulder which we struggled over under heavy packs – and me and Lucky struggled over it again. (Its easier on the road, folks…)
drybedd summit
The top was gained by a steep and grassy lurch followed by a couple of rounded lumps and there it was , with it’s own little tarn. A lovely spot, I should imagine, but today was nithering, so we cleared off smartish and located the knipe/linney brewing up spot at the exit/entrance to the forestry. This was lunchtime for me and the pooch – a bit late due to a less than enthusiastic exit from the cosy bed in the caravan.
And then we followed the Linney/Knipe route back throught he forest but returning by road all the way – very quiet and I noted that the farm at Hirnant is in the process of collapsing (it was OK two years ago). There was no traffic on the road.
and rest....!
Three walk maps below:
Draws Drum – just 4 miles!
Drybedd – 9 earth miles
waun claerddu
Waun Claerddu 7 miles


Dawn Linney said...

That area is well worth a return visit. Lucky takes his snooze time very seriously, he is doing well.

Eeek said...

Tired happy pooch. Beautiful pics and I want ot live in the cottage type place... perfect.

Mike Knipe said...

Dawn - I think so too! They're missing us in Mach!
Eeeek It'd certainly be cosy. Its a long way to the shops though if you forget the bread...!

GeoffC said...

As you discovered, the Waun Claerddu area is superbly remote but largely very boggy. We backpacked a route by the Llyn Fyrddon lakes, and the line north eastwards over Domen Milwyn follows a broad ridge that is basically a giant 4km long sponge, best after a dry spell.
We saw the farmers here on horseback rounding up their sheep.

Anonymous said...

Is that bothy the haunted one? It looked familiar from one of James' posts.

Dixie and Tilly are rather intrigued by these Winalot biccies and have put in a request to try some.

I'm rather intrigued by these Humps...

Mike Knipe said...

Hello Geoff - It's certainly quite wobbly and squishy and would be an interesting navigation practise thingy in hillfog. I loved the place. I think its wonderful...!
Chrissie - Is it haunted? ooer...
Winalot biccies are just like Spillars shapes. I wonder if they'd send Lucky some for review...?