It's no more than two hundred yards, a five minute walk from No51 to No8, I spied a farmer seeing to his flock so I went down hill a little to put some earth between us, and I got to No8, the stone circle, without any strange looks, which can arise when carrying step ladders across Welsh hills.
I proceeded to photograph the stones from aloft, which is the best way to appreciate these stones as they are on a knoll and at ground level only one side of the circle can be seen at once.
Ladders to one side I circled the circle, leaving the interior untill i'd got everything from the exterior that I could, then the dreaded farmer came over. To begin with I thought he was talking Welsh to me, but it turns out he was talking English, just incomprehensible, I only got part of what he said, nice day and ancient cemetry was all I got, oh and he asked if the ladders were mine, with a daft smile on his face, apparently you don't see that very often.
After he left I retook to inspecting the stones a bit closer, The biggest stones in the circle and they really are quite large are on the west side, those at the east are much smaller and trying to burrow under the grass. Inside the circle are a number of other earthfast stones suggesting a cist maybe or something else. The equinox sunrise would have appeared from the same notch in the hills, but was it for this ring cairn or the bigger one up hill, does that even make sense?
Enough, iv'e got to get to that last cairn I've only just learned of, time is still on my side and one word keeps me moving, Mountains, i'm off to Snowdonia in a bit.
After much oohing and aahing and lots of will I won't I, it all fell together perfectly, like one of Hannibal's plans. The weather, the time, the funds, all coming together at one point in time, granted the actual equinox was two days ago, but my day off is today, Thursday, and that will have to do.
I ignore the car park by the big ring cairn and carry on down the track with the Llyn to my right and hills to my left. As the lane bends round to the right I parked by the building, not very discriptive is it but I wasn't paying much attention as I passed, I was hurrying up, getting the ladders balanced just right on my shoulder, checking out the sky and so on.
The footpath is well used, by foot, by 4x4 and by tractor and almost unswervingly takes us to Brenig 8, but I want Brenig 51 so a quick detour up hill, a wooden post marks it's spot and there it is, possibly the most interesting, mesmerising and captivating chamberless cairn there is.
The cairn originally had an open center like the other ring cairn, in the very center was a large wooden post, but it didn't last long as the cairns middle was filled in, finally a semicircular cairn covering a charcoal filled pit was added to the northern arc.
The first thing I noted was where the equinox sun would be rising from, two low hills cross the horizon forming a shallow V from which the sun bursts forth, shining brightly and warmly all across North Wales, I wasn't expecting that, the suns non coincidental rise from a place of note, or the sunny day.
The second thing I noted was just how brilliant this cairn is, this is my third visit and it's only just sinking in how much of a singular spectacle it is. The stones of the platform seem to fit together so well the architect must have sat for years determined to get them all to fit in perfectly together, like some huge prehistoric mosaic.
Then there's that semicircular cairn, who ever heard of such a thing, stuck into the platforms northern arc, and covering a charcoal filled pit, prehistory never seemed so full of mystery as it does right now. Lets not forget the stone circle at the platforms center as well, just that ring of stones on it's own would have been enough to get me here, maybe not this early in the morning but I still would have come, oh and three small quartz boulders are in the center also but they are more than likely recent additions, they've been there more than a decade at least.
Then the sun starts to rise, I turn to the thronging possy of sun worshippers at my side to gauge their reaction, only to find that i'm well and truly alone on this hill side, no one else but me to watch over the celestial magic, I wonder whether anyone else has seen this, since, you know... back then, surely not.
But times getting the better of me as it always does at these places, it's time to go and see Number8, and if time stays on my side, there's that special guest star later on.