Welshcakes (picau ar y maen)

Welshcakes (in their natural environment) Welshcakes (in their natural environment)

Welshcakes can be traced back in time to one of the earliest forms of baking, where a flatstone would be placed onto an open fire and small flat cakes would be griddled on top of the hot stone.

It is a shame that they are not more widely available outside of their native Wales as they make a fine accompaniment to a nice cup of tea.

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A week in the Brecon Beacons

Looking over Dyffryn Crawnon valley towards Pen-y-Fan and Cribyn Looking along the Dyffryn Crawnon valley from Tor-y-Foel

David invited me to visit Dyffryn Crawnon in the Brecon Beacons for a week, and while he set about on repairs to the bunkhouse I have the opportunity to stretch my legs over a beacon or two.

The first amble was up and around the head of Dyffryn Crawnon valley, but from there I caught glimpses of Pen-y-Fan to the north and a few interesting looking mountains closer to home.

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Big Pit

Big Pit The weather we had experienced at the top of Pen-y-Fan now seemed to have reached us in the valley. This morning was not a time to be outside. We headed off to Big Pit.

Big Pit is a real coal mine, and above ground felt strangely eerie – like an enormous ghost of the industrial age was still present from a time when the site was in full production.

It has stopped producing coal and now allows visitors to be guided around some of the underground tunnels. All of the guides are miners who have at least 5 years experience of working underground, their enthusiasm and passion for mining was almost overwhelming while being most engaging.

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Pen-y-Fan

Not quite the top of Pen-y-Fan Tim invited me along to another walking trip with the NIMR hill walking club, this time to the Brecon Beacons.

It was late on friday night when we passed over the River Severn and paid our £5.10 to get into Wales. Why is it £5.10 and not an even £5 which would be so much easier? What was the need for all those 10p pieces? are the Welsh trying to undermine the GBP£ by hording all the 10p coins??

We continued on, passing Merthyr Tydfil and up into the Brecon Beacons – and it started to rain. We caught up with the minibus from NIMR and spent a little while in sunken lanes looking for the bunkhouse…

The morning was overcast, and the cloud was getting lower as breakfast was eaten and discussions continued about the walking options. Eventually we all started to head off to Pen-y-Fan, the highest point in South Wales.

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