Left Heol Ddu Leisure center at 10 30am with Jamie and Gary Bevan. The weather was bright and cold with winter sunshine. Walked past Bargoed golf club down a steep path and across the full bellied River Darran. Up over Groes Faen through Coetir Deri, across the river Darran for the second time. On to the Cwm Darran Trail, and cycle track (Cwm Darran Trail use to be the old Brecon railway line) which was bike free, past the lakes and out of the Cwm Darran Parc. For a steep walk up which would bring us on to Gelligaer Common and the Loops and Links walk. My coat came off then back on to off again. Once on top the coat stayed on it was freezing and very windy. Good weather for clearing the sinuses. The ground was boggy but not as boggy as Wednesdays recce. I looked back i could see Pen Y Fan wearing a snow covered cap and winking behind a grey cloud. On we walked where Roman soldiers once walked, part of the road is still very clear today. Sky larks came out along with the gold finches.The views were spectacular, Old smoky in the Rhondda, Merthyr Vale, Senghenydd, Mynydd Machan, Mynydd Islwyn and Twmbarlwm. Massive blue skies with fluffy white clouds scudding across the sun. Past Sant Gwladys Cross and the many sturdy wild ponies and bleak looking sheep and back to where we started. Alas no pub visit.