With Backpack

One World in One Lifetime

Archive for the ‘Brecon’ Category

Brecon

Posted by Heliocentrism on December 15, 2017

Monday, August 21st – 25th, 2017

We took a public bus from Cardiff to get to the YHA (Youth Hostel) in Brecon. We know that the bus passed by the hostel only once every 2 hours, so we did our grocery shopping before getting on the bus in Cardiff. By this time on our trip, cooking our own meals was not just about saving money any more. We wanted to eat at “home”. We were tired of restaurants and sometimes, we just wanted to stay in.

The YHA at Brecon

The YHA in Brecon was very quiet and peaceful. It was a fantastic place to get away and relax. Unfortunately that works better if you have a car and don’t depend on public transportation. There are a few trails that start right outside the hostel’s door. But, for more options, it’s better to have a car.

We, didn’t really go to Brecon for hiking. We went there for the caves… and because it was in the middle of Wales. We were working our way through Wales with the goal of getting to Scotland by September.

To get anywhere in the Brecon area, you first have to take a bus to the town of Brecon. We got up very early on morning to catch the 7:00AM bus downtown. Once there we had to wait at the bus depot for 2 hours for the next bus to the caves. If we had a car, the drive from the YHA to the caves would have been about half an hour.

We thought we would spend the whole day in the park. It is advertised as having 3 caves with one being called the “Cathedral Cave”. The first cave was nice and took about 40 minutes to an hour to walk through. The second cave, the Cathedral Cave, was very beautiful. But, the walk through that one took about 20 minutes. The walk up to the last cave took longer than the walk in the cave.

In fact, there was no walk in the cave. The cave was very small compared to the other two. Everyone just stood around and watched a video of the history of the cave. The video was interesting. It talked about the people who used the cave throughout history; first neolithic men, then Romans, and now us. But the video was about 15 minutes long.

The rest of the park is mainly for little kids. There are plastic dinosaurs throughout the park which all the children really enjoyed. But by noon, Mark and I had seen everything we were interested in seeing. We ate our lunch then waited for the bus back to the YHA. Since it was still the middle of the day, we had more than enough time to hike a trail near the YHA before sunset. That would be our new plan so the afternoon wouldn’t be a total loss.

The bus back to town had such great timing. The bus we needed to transfer to, to get back to the YHA left just 5 minutes after we arrived at the bus depot. But, of course we had to do some shopping before heading back. The next bus after that wasn’t for another 2 hours.

By the time we got back to the YHA it was about 16:00. We did walk about for 30 minutes but not on any of the trails. We saved that for the next day.

The next day we focus more on doing laundry and relaxing, but we did manage to get in a nice late morning hike. On the trail we speculated on where we could have gone had there been a better bus system in the area.

“You know, it’s not that expensive to rent a car here,” Mark told me.

“Yes, but they mostly rent stick-shift,” I replied.

“I can drive stick,” Mark said.

The seed was planted on our imagination. The freedom that would come with renting a car would be amazing, even if the car was a stick-shift.


The United Kingdom

How to get there:

You can enter this country by land via an underwater tunnel, air, or sea.

Check with your local UK embassy for visa information.

Phone:

  • Use 112 or 999 for the police, fire department, or to get an ambulance

Website:

Data:

Videos:

Books: 

Notes:

  • If you’re going to do a lot of travel by train or bus, looking for a Rail card or bus pass before you buy your first ticket.
    • Railway Cards
    • Oyster Card
    • Even getting a day pass on a bus could be cheaper than getting 3 single passes, or a return ticket and a single pass.
  • If you’re going to travel around the United Kingdom, you might want to get membership at one of the following:
    •  English Heritage – £54 / year for 1 person
    • National Trust England – £64.80 / year for 1 person
    • Scottish Heritage –  £49 / year for 1 person
      • All of these are a little cheaper when getting a group or family membership.
      • Many come with discounts for other things, like:
        • The Scottish Heritage gives you 20% off at all of their gift shops and cafes.
        • English Heritage gives you free parking at many of their sights.
      • As a bonus, it helps you when planning what to do and see in the country.
  • If you are going to stay in hostels, join Hosteling International, or any of its subsidiaries.
    • YHA – England & Wales
    • SYHA – Scotland
      • Membership at any of these will get you the discounted rate at any of the other hosteling organizations.
      • These hostels tend to be better than most other hostels.

National Show Caves

Basic Information

Website

Cost:

Hours:

  • 10:00 – 15:00

Video

Notes:

  • One of the caves was used as a filming location for the Doctor Who serial The Pirate Planet.
  • There is one very long cave, but you can’t see most of it.
    • It takes about 30 minutes to walk through it.
  • There is one really nice cave, but it’s not very big.
  • There is one cave that is very small and all you do in there is watch a video.
  • It’s a great place for kids, but not that entertaining for adults on their own.

Map:

Posted in Brecon, United Kingdom, The, Wales | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

 
%d bloggers like this: