Or Larksong, Industrious Beetles and a Sit Down Protest…
We head to Abergavenny and out to the carpark at Llanwenarth. The road is tiny, steep and very treacherous but the views at the top are amazing. We look down on the town and watch the curtains of rain travel down the valleys. Behind us lies Pen y Fal or The Sugarloaf.
This is one of the highest peaks in the Black Mountains and its conical shape is reminiscent of a volcano but is in fact made of the same old red sandstone as the rest of the Black Mountains. We walk slowly up the path passing sheep and ponies on the way. Larksong fills the air. At the top we can see the Brecon Beacons, the Severn Estuary and Southwest England as well as Black Mountains such as Skirrid Fawr and Hatterall Hill. Below us lie the three finger like ridges of the Llanwenarth, Deri and Rholden Hills that are formed from the slopes of Pen y Fal and that create two deeply wooded valleys, St Mary’s Vale and the Cibi Valley.
We scramble down a steep path that leads into St Mary’s Vale. This is a beech and oak woodland that was once the home of charcoal burners and is a magical, witchy sort of place that Druids would feel right at home in. A cuckoo calls and at our feet black beetles roll dung into neat little balls.
Today has been a gloriously life affirming Welsh day and Millie obviously agrees because when we reach the carpark she stages a sit down protest about going home. Thunder crashes, the sky turns black and the heavens open. We lie in the camper with rain drumming on the roof and we are happy.