Port Talbot

A new year and more walks with the “Navigator”. As he was recovering from a minor rumbling tummy the walk would be flat and short but hopefully something new.

The plan was to drive to Briton Ferry,  ( some interesting facts on this link) use the bus pass and ride to the bus station in Port Talbot and walk back to the car.

Route

After parking the car we found a bus stop which showed some three regular buses but the one that came was not mentioned! However it did take us to the bus station in Port  Talbot.

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A one stop family hairdressers!

We started to follow a cycle route towards the beach but there were on going road works which had closed that route but we wended our way through Sandfields and down to the beach at Aberavon.

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Looking towards Swansea bay

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Looking towards the steel works

Despite a stiff breeze blowing there were lots of people taking the air and walking dogs. We walked the length of the promenade and then down to the beach to continue walking towards the Avon Nedd. We had lunch in the dunes before turning to walk upstream through some Dr Who pipework and re joining the river to view an old dock network designed by Brunel (refer to the above Briton Ferry link).

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No clue given about this construction

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Looking towards the M4 bridge

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From here we headed back to the car in Britton Ferry

New Year 2017 Period

With Christmas over – a lot of local walks with my grand dog daughter, Holly, on a visit from Chester – we were hosting Andy and my wife’s sister for the new Year. Bound to be some walks involved.

They arrived at lunch time Saturday and Andy and I had a short walk to the National Botanic Garden of Wales  where we had a coffee and returned home.

Sunday we took off to friends in Llansteffan and after lunch we had a short cold walk on the beach.

On Monday I had planned a 5 mile, flat walk with the promise of a cafe at the end for the four of us. We headed for Llanmadoc on the north coast of Gower. The weather was clear blue sky and not too cold and of course a lot of others had planned the same walk and the field car park was  nearly full. The thaw gave rise to a slippery down hill parking place. The way out could be “interesting”, but that was for later.

The first half of the walk is along the beach, passing the Whiteford lighthouse now long disused and the only metal one left in the UK.

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Whitford Lighthouse

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Have they seen the signs?

We turned inland between the salt marsh and the woods all hoping for a coffee and cake. IT WAS SHUT!!!. No mention of this on their website or notices on the gates. In fact the other tea room and local pub were also closed, must be a very local holiday!

We now faced the problem of exiting the car park as did others. With team work and skillful driving no tractors were required.

Route

Thankfully we had an invitation to visit my elder son where a welcome buffet was waiting.

On Tuesday Andy and I set for a walk just north west of Carmarthen based on the village of Bronwydd and into the hills and lanes of the area. The first section was along the Afon Gwili where Andy and I have had good days canoeing.

Route

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Afon Gwili

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Andy learning about Rebecca Riots

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I like this sign

 

We both dragged each other out again on Wednesday for a walk on Mynydd Myddai with another promise of a cafe at the end in the village of Myddfai.  Promise fulfilled this time. Coffee and bara brith and a pat of butter!

Route

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To The Physicians Well

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Bleak

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The trig on Mynydd Myddfai

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We are here somewhere

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More bleakness

 

On our return leg we watched two red kites circling each other and flying low over us,magnificent.

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Andy looking at the mistletoe – no chance!

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Less bleak

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Typical Carmarthenshire farm

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Colourful houses in Myddfai

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Ye olde chemist!

Am I glad that Andy lives in Chester or we would be playing every day.

Blywdden newydd dda i pawb.

 

 

 

Swansea Bay

I had planned to watch my grandson play rugby in Waunarlwydd and to make the most of the day I decided to have a cycle ride after the game.

It was a good start as his team, Bynea under nines, came out on top. I then drove to Gowerton and cycled down route NCN4 down through the Clyne valley to Swansea Bay.

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From there I turned left and rode up and through the marina and returned back to Gowerton.

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There were lots of people cycling, walking and running despite an overcast day.

 

 

Dinas Island Pembs.

With the “Navigator” back from enduring high temperatures in Cyprus, today’s walk although with blue skies, there was a dramatic shift in the mercury.

Our destination was a walk taking in Dinas Island on the coast and a walk inland to obtain good views of the coast.

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Route

The car was parked at Pwllgwaelod and we walked clockwise around the headland. One could be forgiven for assuming global warming had gone mad as the highest point was Pen Y Fan. My last time up to Pen Y Fan I distinctly remember it was in the heart of the Brecon Beacons with no coastal view!

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Pwllgwaelod beach

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The other Pen y Fan

 

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Cwm yr Eglwys

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Cyclamen

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What is left of the church following a storm

From Cwm yr Eglwys we headed south crossing the main Fishguard road and onto Bwlch Mawr to the viewpoint for a lunch stop and fine views of the coast.

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Here’s the link about the fund

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Aberbach

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Westerly winds!

After food our route was west to the coast and back to the car.

 

 

Llanmadoc

Despite being  in the throes of man flu, cabin fever kicking in and a blue sky day,  I struggled from my sick bed and headed out with Paul to walk part of the north coast of the Gower at Llanmadoc.

Route

The walk was taken from the Cicerone guide “Walking in Gower” and being reasonably short and flat I thought this would help my recovery. At the car park we chatted to a local who recommended the Cwm Ivy cafe situated just down the road and we filed this away for the return.

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We walked under Cwm Ivy Tor and onto the beach which we followed around to Whiteford Point. A detour was made to look at the Whiteford Lighthouse, the only surviving inter tidal cast iron lighthouse in the UK.

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Our return route was adjacent to the salt marsh on one side and woodland on the other. The described route takes you along the sea wall but following a breach the path can no longer be used to get back to Llanmadoc. However the alternative is nice enough where we passed a renovated bunk house and then we were soon sitting in the Cwm Ivy Cafe where we pleased to find there was complimentary mulled wine and mince pies – result!

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A good end to a walk

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View from cafe

Cydweli (Kidwelly)

The navigator had suggested a walk which was not far from our respective homes as they could not meet me until 1000 and Mrs Navigator had an important engagement with the W.I. that evening  and needed to be home early.

Route

I had been promised that at least part of the walk would be new to me and in fact the early part was indeed new. We parked in Cydweli and walked to the renovated quay area which overlooked the estuary of the Afon Gwendraeth Fach. There were a number of keen bird watchers here with some expensive binoculars and cameras. We saw curlew, egrets and various gulls and a a little further inland a kingfisher.

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Estuary of Afon Gwendraeth Fach

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Cydweli Quay

We followed the  canal until we met the road into Cydweli and then followed a bridleway/cycle trail crossing the main road and up onto Mynydd y Garreg. We had lunch near the school which provided excellent views over to Caldey Island and to the south the Gower Peninsula. At the summit of Mynydd Y Garreg the views again were extensive to include the Carmarthen Fans to the north east.

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One of the attractive green lanes

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Caldey island in the distance

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The Gower

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Near Mynydd Y Garreg Village Hall

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Carmarthen Fans in the distance

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Bacon!!

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Trumps view outside of USA

The walk now took us downhill  to the main Carmarthen Llanelli road where we climbed the other side of the valley heading for Llwyn y Barcud and the farms of Penlan.

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Any idea?

We had planned to take the byway from Penlan Uchaf down to Cydwel but that path was not obvious despite us all walking it some years ago. We may have been thrown by the building  of a huge barn close to where we thought the path was.

We decided to follow another footpath taking us in a more westerly direction and eventually back tot he car. Hey ho!!

Mynydd Myddfai

Paul telephoned on Saturday evening proposing a walk on Mynydd Myddfai. We had walked this route back in the summer but had made a navigation error and the weather had been a bit grim and here was a chance to put things right!

Route

It was a good autumnal day and we parked at the village hall in Myddfai village. The route takes in the first part of the Physicians Well walk and then a gradual climb to the trig point on Mynydd Myddfai.

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A frosty start

On the lane on our way out we were passed by a number of 4 x 4’s and we saw them again on our way back. Some had two way radios and we also saw a number of people coming off the hill with dogs. I’m sure it was all legal.

Our ascent was watched by a group of mountain ponies. From the trig there were good views all around.

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Looking towards Carmarthen Fans

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Looking east from the trig point

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Our previous walk went a little awry  from here when we walked down the wrong side of the valley but being more observant this time all went well and it was a steady walk downhill and along lanes back to the village hall. It seemed rude not to have a coffee and a slice of bara brith.

Newgale

The 31 October and here we are walking in shirtsleeves. Today’s venue was a circular walk based on Newgale,  Pembrokeshire.

Route

I was surprised to see a reasonable surf breaking with a couple of surfer dudes out enjoying themselves. With the tide ebbing we walked onto the beach  to Pwll March and then cut up along a rather overgrown path to Pen Y Cwm.

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North Newgale Beach

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We turned up a road past some houses and continued along a path which the further we went the wetter it became until we hit a minor road.

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Where did I leave that tractor?

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Here we turned south until the village of Roch was reached and where we had lunch in the village play area.

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Suitably rested we continued on tarmac in a south westerly direction until we came to the coast at Nolton Haven and then north following the coast path back to Newgale.

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Nolton Haven

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A chimney which is all that remains of a coal mine

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Whilst in Roch I received a very curt text from my wife who was clearly not best pleased that I had treated myself to a slice of home made Christmas cake which she was keeping for a good friend. A similar incident took place a few years ago. I can report that the cake was delicious.

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SkelwithBridge, Ambleside, Rydal, Loughrigg Fell

Our last day walking in the Lake District and the weather is still behaving.

Today we started from base gradually circling to Ambleside (no gear shopping), Rydal Water, up to the trig point on Loughrigg Fell and dropping back to our HQ.

Route

We headed east passing under Ivy Crag to Todd Crag and passing Lily Tarn. From here we followed a path leading steeply down to Ambleside.

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Windermere

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Lily Tarn

 

 

There was a short stretch of busy road walking before we cut off to a path which took us to Rydal MountRydal Mount with views of Rydal Water and Loughrigg Fell. A brave soul was spotted swimming in the lake whilst we tucked in to lunch.

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Gardens in Rydal Mount

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Rydal Water and Loughrigg

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We crossed over to the south side of the lake and came across a huge cave the result of quarrying in the past.

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The collar work now started as the route climbed to the summit of Loughrigg Fell before the steep descent back to base.

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That way.

Once again a good week of walking and although we had some rain mostly it was dry and despite it being October winter woollies were not required.

Thanks to our better halves for letting us out to play.

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That’s all Folks