When I arrived at the Mountain Centre, I asked staff about the walks that I might do within the short time I had, and they advised me to do the walk to the hill fort. I asked several times just to make sure, and they said that I could absolutely do that walk within one hour, and that I would then have plenty enough time to walk back to the bus stop in a leisurely manner. Ok, of course I trusted them!
I am probably not the fastest walker on earth, but I would not say that I am particularly slow or unfit either, and on this walk I even hurried and did not stop very often because I was afraid to run out of time - and that is exactly what happened.
I constantly monitored my watch, and even when I had not yet arrived at the top of the hill fort, I saw that I would need longer than an hour to do this. But I really wanted to get to the top, so I did that, and then nearly jogged back to the mountain centre, arriving with hurting legs and totally exhausted! Sorry, but one hour is really unrealistic for that walk, at least if you are not using it as a training for your next triathlon!
Out of breath, I arrived back at the Mountain Centre, and asked them if they could organise a taxi to take me back to the bus stop. No, that was not possible - the closest taxis were only available in Brecon - but staff were 100% sure that I could make it easily back to the bus stop within 30 minutes walking at a leisurely pace! Well, what was I to do, of course there was no choice, so I started my walk back down to Libanus.
My trust in staff had by this time diminished a little. My knees were hurting very much at this stage, but I walked as fast as I could. Not leisurely. By now, I was very, very afraid that I could miss the bus and then be stuck in Libanus for the night, as this was the last bus back to Cardiff.
And what can I say. I arrived at the bus stop about two minutes before the bus arrived!!!
So really, be warned: Don't trust the times that staff give you in the mountain centre! Better plan more time and be on the safe side.
At the tourist information they had told me that from the bus stop in Libanus I should just walk up the street and I would find the Mountain Centre very easily...
So I went to Libanus unprepared, but when I arrived, I saw that it was not so easy. I found a signpost and walked up the way it indicated. However, after some time the street became wilder and wilder. It ran between two rows of big hedges, and then became an unpaved path, increasingly muddy... After some time I met a local who told me that this was the wrong way, but that I should just walk on and I would finally get to the Mountain Centre anyway.
I followed his advice because I did not want to turn back after walking for so long. The pathway was now really dirty, and after making the acquaintance of some sheep, and walking for another fifteen minutes or so, I finally arrived at the Mountain Centre.
When talking to staff and looking at the map, I found out that I had indeed taken the wrong way (despite the signpost, which was misleading). The street that you need to take is not close to the bus stop.
When you arrive from Brecon, you need to walk about fifty metres away from where you have come and take the street that is leading up here, close to some farms, but not close to the restaurant.
If you arrive from Cardiff, you need to walk back into the direction from which you have come to find that street.
I really wish that I had found that street because it would have saved me time and energy, and my jeans wouldn't have been so dirty - but I will know better next time :-)