Brecon Beacons Wellington Bomber Walk
by Matt Kear
Ten of SUMC’s intrepid ramblers set off into the depths of the Brecon Beacons to find the wreck of an old WWII Bomber, atop Garreg Goch.
The walk started off a bit hap-hazard in the navigation department as I wiped the sleep from my eyes and knocked off the rust off my map-reading skills. This did of course mean that the team did a nice walk to farm house, only to return to the car five minutes later as I couldn’t find the foot path…
Following the short detour, we were on our way. The sun was shining and it was pleasantly warm for mid-November. We picked up our trail, hop-scotching over rocks to cross a river, to climb up onto Garreg Goch. Some miles later we began our search for the wreckage of the old Canadian Bomber. We stood at the highest point in the area, surveying the land before us. “Nope can’t see it…”
“Lets try looking behind that ridge over there”
*Behind the aforementioned ridge* “Can you see it?”
“Nope… What about behind that ridge over there?”
Cutting a long story short, Ed and I led the group on a merry wander until I finally gave up and checked the co-ordinates of the bomber, relative to our position, using GPS. Turns out we were very close, but it was hidden behind a different ridge.
After lunch and a few pics of the wreckage we continued our walk. This time making an off-trail b-line for a nearby forest. This meant walking through waist high grasses and crossing many, many, bogs. By the time we reached the forest most of the group had wet feet or worse, a wet arse from falling over (I will confess, it was I with the moist derrière).
The forest walk was pleasant, being back on hard-pack trail. Our ankles were thankful for this. The relief, however, was short-lived. We left the cover of the forest to once again trample through long, lumpy grasses and boot swallowing bogs.
By this point we were approaching the end of our walk. The light was fading, and so were the group. Conversation, for the first time on the whole walk, fell silent. Angie came to the rescue by dishing out the sugary goodies. Who needs fancy sports drinks when you have a packet of strawberry laces!? Everyone soon picked up again.
We descended off the hill, via a steep trail through a farm. Walking down the trail I knew that my knees would thank me in the morning… After the farm we joined the road that took us back to the cars. We got back just as the sun was setting. Ten ventured out and ten returned. I would call that a successful day if you ask me.
In total the group walked 11.5 miles (18.6 km) and climbed 500 m. That’s 0.046% of the way around the equator! Well done team!