Fan y Big
A special walking weekend in Brecon Beacons National Park organised by Cranfield University’s Walks took place 25 to 27 May.
Altogether, 12 Cranfield University students of 8 nationalities (Spanish, Chinese, English, Iranian, Dutch, Indian-Portugeese, Ecuadorian and Czech), 2 family members and 1 walk leader/university staff took part in this special trip to South Wales.
The weekend started very early (6am) on Friday morning by a road trip to the seaside town of Tenby; 10 students in 2 cars convoy. Getting on a boat from Tenby to Caldey Island was so relaxing – indeed surreal, after several hours spent driving on a busy motorway. A quick picnic lunch at the grounds of Caldey Abbey; then most of us opted for a cliff walk to see the lighthouse and then hit the local beach. Dip into the cold sea was followed by building an impressive sand castle – with a sophisticated drainage system, green roof and very own Great Wall of China.
In the late afternoon we headed inland. Accommodation was booked at YHA Danywenallt by the beautiful and tranquil Usk Reservoir . This is where we met the rest of our group. Big thank you goes to Toni, Hostel Manager, who arranged for everyone to have accomodation at YHA Danywenallt; in spite of 3 of us originally booked to stay in nearby hostel YHA Brecon.
On Saturday we did a moderate to hard 23 km (14.5 miles) walk, conquering 4 top summits of Brecon Beacons, including the highest peak Pen y Fan (886m) and neighbouring Fan y Big (719m). We were being blown away on top of these mountains – not just by the beauty of the place but quite literally, by winds reported to be reaching 80 km (50 miles) per hour.
On Sunday we did a shorter, about 10 km (6 miles) walk; along the river Hepste, through woodland, walking up and down to a number of enchanting waterfalls – including the famous Sgwd yr Eira (meaning “Fall of Snow“) behind which we walked, took photos and where we had a picnic lunch.
Weather on both days was fantastic: sunny and very warm. Overall, the trip to South Wales was a great success: Cranfield University students just could not stop jumping 4 joy!-)
Big thank you goes to all Cranfield University staff and students who made this special weekend trip to South Wales possible:
- Toby, Lecturer from School of Engineering; our walk leader and also driver, for taking his time off to spend the weekend with Cranfield University students and for guiding our group through the spectacular Brecon Beacons National Park.
- Sue and Glenda from Cranfield Students’ Association for taking bookings, liaising about our accommodation and for providing us with endless streams of helpful advice.
- Our drivers: Toby, member of staff and our walk leader; and Pedro, PhD student who came forward at a late stage of planning this trip and thus allowed further 4 students to participate.
- Our photographers: Belen, Ali, Xiaojian and many more – thanks to you we now have many amazing photos from this trip that can be viewed via our Photos page.
- Lovely Margaret and Dawn from the Community and Development Office for their continuing support.
ksodo – event’s organiser & 3rd driver