Fan Foel - Bannau Sir Gaer - Llyn y Fan Fach
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This walk approaches the Black Mountain (Mynydd Du) from the head of the Sawdde valley with its patchwork of small fields and dispersed farms. A progressive ascent across open ground leads towards Fan Foel. There is a small stone circle about 100 metres northwest of Waymark 2 and the route passes close to the source of the River Usk. The north ridge of Fan Foel is steep but straightforward, offering views of Llyn y Fan Fawr and the scarp face of Fan Brycheiniog.
A path traverses along the northern escarpment of Bannau Sir Gaer, which is characterised by horizontal strata of old red sandstone and millstone grit. Curving cliffs enclose Llyn y Fan Fach, which lies over five hundred feet below. It is a glacial lake that provides the setting for one of the best-known Welsh folktales: the Lady of Llyn y Fan and the Physicians of Myddfai. The story begins when Rhiwallon, the farmer of Blaensawdde, meets a beautiful water fairy besides Llyn y Fan. She agrees to marriage, on condition that she will return to the lake if he inflicts three causeless blows. They raise three sons before Rhiwallon breaks the pledge and she returns to Llyn y Fan, leaving her sons behind. They search for her and she reappears from the water to teach them about herbal cures. The three sons became the first in a long line of Physicians of Myddfai, a tradition preserved until the 18th century.
Wales - South Wales - Carmarthenshire - Black Mountain
Ancient Monument, Birds, Great Views, Lake/Loch, Mountains, River
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