Sunday, December 06, 2009

blorenges are not the only mountain

Some quick notes on our expedition to conquer the Blorenge on Saturday:
  • Firstly, yes, it rhymes with orange. Some say there are other words that do as well, though most of them sound highly dubious.
  • Secondly, as you'll know if you watched that QI clip all the way through, the car park by Pen-ffordd-goch pond (aka Keeper's Pond) provides the last resting place of the famous racehorse Foxhunter.
  • The route we took started in the car park by the old railway line in Llanfoist and followed, more or less, a clockwise version of this route, which can be found among many other excellent walks on this page.
  • Highlights include a brief encounter with the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal, which is all nice and restored and navigable at this point, though by the time it gets down into Newport it isn't. The limit of navigation is somewhere up north of Cwmbran, I think.
  • Those inclined to schoolboy sniggering will appreciate what some passer-by had attempted to do to a warning sign by the canal: presumably "deep silt" was the original message - the sign as it currently is is on the left in the image below: two suggestions for further improvement are to the centre and right.
  • The middle section of the walk - certainly the section from the cattle grid here up onto the ridge, over the summit, and back down to the road and round to the Foxhunter car park, and possibly some other bits as well - is part of the Iron Mountain Trail, which sounds like some scary endurance challenge but is in fact just an offshoot of the Blaenavon World Heritage Site.
  • We spotted some interesting fungi on the way round - some big brown buggers that I think were boleti of some sort, and what I believe (after consulting the excellent Visual Fungi database) to be Yellow Brain Fungus (Tremella mesenterica) on a tree branch.
  • Llanfoist doesn't appear to have a pub, so we headed back to Newport for a couple of pints of Hancock's HB at the Handpost.
Photo gallery can be found here.

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