Llyn y Fan Fach (the lake below the small mountain) is one of my favourite locations. It’s hard to find – I used to get lost when trying to drive to it because all the lanes around look the same. Even today, as I was driving towards the mountains, I wasn’t sure I was on the right road until I got to the rough track that leads to the little car park. Llyn y Fan Fawr, it’s companion lake just over the far ridge, is easier to drive to although the walk across rough moorland is a little tougher.
We left the car park at about 8.30 and headed up a rough track to a trout farm and beyond it to a dam and a small rescue shelter. It’s a long and steady slog up to the dam, uphill all the way with no respite. Great training. By the time I got to the shelter, Rufus had gone inside to have a look around so I made my way over tot he dam and waited for him. Water fascinates and calls to Rufus, so it was only a matter of moments before he joined me and we had a happy 10 minutes splashing about in the lake. Llyn y Fan Fach is a glacial lake cupped by the mountains of Bannau Sir Gaer. Rufus barking at my lack of stone throwing skills echoed around the mountains and for several minutes, there were many Rufuses all requiring a stone to be thrown.
The path up onto Bannau Sir Gaer starts from the lake, and climbs steadily until it reaches the high point of Picws Du. We set off and the many sheep in our way parted as we moved. Once again, Rufus showed no interest in them and lead the way. We came upon the first of a series of cairns built to indicate the path and lead walkers away from the treacherous edge which was crumbing in places.
It was a grey old day but I could see Foel Fawr, another of our regular hills, in the distance to the west. To the east, as we reached the top of Picws Du, was Fan Brecheiniog. But that wasn’t for today. Later in my training schedule, I’ll be doing the two lakes in one circular walk.
It was windy at the top, and threatening rain, so we turned around and made our way down to the lake again. The steady downhill path was most welcome and we were down in no time. There was many more echoing barks and stones thrown before we set off past the trout farm and back to the car park. There was time for a paddle int he river and a few photos of the wagtails before the rain set in, and we left for home.