Abercastle

With Mr and Mrs Navigator keen to show off their tan lines from a break in gran Canaria a walk was arranged on the Pembrokeshire coast. The forecast was heavy rain until about 1130 and sun thereafter and so we motored slowly and had our morning coffee break in the car above Abermawr beach.

Route

It was still raining as we set off but this had not deterred three Park Rangers busy digging out a new path near the beach.

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Abermawr

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Our route struck inland through a woodland which in a few weeks will be covered in wild garlic, and then onto lanes leading down to Abercastle and the coast.

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Abercastle

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Abercastle beach

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he knew Trump was coming!

The sun was now shining and we had a grand walk back to the car at Abermawr.

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The famous Pembrokeshire wall climbing sheep

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We came across this little shrew busily chewing on an obviously tasty leaf and took very little notice of us as we busied ourselves taking his/her photo.

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Cute

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Abermawr

 

Machynlleth

The annual “boys” February week away with the “navigator” and my brother-in-law Andy was here again. This year was to be spent in the hills north and south of Machynlleth and our base was some 10 miles east of Machynlleth.

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Prior to the above conversion is was an old barn which was used for a past Eisteddfod and was the base for the Pabell Len, a venue for the literary side of things. it is now known as “Beudy Clygo”.

The “Navigator” and I drove up from the Carmarthen area on Saturday and we were due to meet Andy on the outskirts of Machynlleth for a short half day walk but he had car problems and missed the walk.

Route

In this area you will never be far from walking on sections of  Glyndwr’s Way and we frequently came across the way marked route throughout the week. Although we are used to seeing way marks for the Wales Coast Path in odd places here was another on a hillside miles from the coast!

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Look out for golf balls.

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Coast Path?

This was a good introduction to the area and by luck we met Andy as we both turned into the lane leading to our cottage and in time to see Wales lose to the English.

Sunday

We parked in Dinas Mawddwy and walked into the valley of the Nant Maesglase.

Route

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Ye olde milepost

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is that snow?

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The wind is blowing the waterfall uphill!

About halfway along we came a sheep who was clearly in distress and on closer examination it had caught itself up in the netting which holds bales of sileage together. We managed to turn the sheep on its side and cut through the nylon mesh and free her. We also ensured the netting was cut in numerous places to avoid a similar accidennt. From experience its not difficult  to release the bale and collect the netting.

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Morning coffee break

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The Navigator is happy, honest.

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Snow on Maesglase

When we reached Bwlch Siglen we saw a group of walkers who turned out to be, apart  from 2 others, the only walkers we saw all week. As we climbed out of the bwlch another good deed was carried out when Andy recovered a large ripped party balloon which was caught up in the gorse. Do purchasers of these items  give any thought to what happens to these balloons when released?

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We left the good paths and bush whacked across to Llyn Foeldinas in misty conditions and then back to the car via the disused quarries following a tea break in a welcome bus shelter.

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Sleeting.

Monday

Today’s route would take us to Glaslyn south east of Machynlleth. The lanes in this are are narrow and parking is not easy to find but we found a suitable spot south of Aberhosan near Nantyfyda farm.

Route

We followed Glyndwr’s Way on a good path gently rising to take us to Glaslyn where we had lunch on the beach. The lake and surrounding area is now a nature reserve run by Montgomeryshre Wildlife Trust.

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Lunch on the beach.

After lunch we retraced our steps to join a minor road to the viewpoint dedicated to Wynford Vaughan Thomas. The views were not extensive because of the misty conditions but the panorama plate indicated the views are there to be seen on a clear day.

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Sustrans mile post route NCN 8

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The byway also shown  as a cycle route albeit not one for a road bike, was followed to the village of Aberhosan and then south back to  the car.

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Tuesday

Cwm Cywarch was to be our destination today and then up onto Craig Cywarch.

Route

We drove to Dinas Mwyddwy and then up to the end of the road of the  Cywarch valley where the National Trust have made a small car park with an honesty box. There is even a porto loo nicely contained behind a dry stone wall.

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We came down this path

The path up is a good quarry road and then a reasonable track up onto the ridge of Craig Cywarch where the temperature had fallen with ice forming on the grass and rime ice on the fences.

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Brrrr

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No this is not sheep wool.

As we climbed higher snow was underfoot and here we enjoyed lunch. The cloud was now down and we followed a fence line before taking a bearing to Llyn y Fign.

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Ice with that sir?

As we started to descend steeply to the path which would take us back to the car I lost my footing and crashed head first on to a very hard rock. Thankfully as it was cold I had some thick covering on my head and was able to carry on without a problem. The fall did leave a large grazed area which my dear brother-in-law said put him in mind of the ex Russian president, Gorbachov! We took the rest of the descent very slowly and there were no further incidents.

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Wednesday

The forecast was poor and it seemmed sensible to stay off the hills and we headed for the coast at Aberdovy and the low hills behind the seaside town.

Route

It was a little wet to start but overall it was a fine day and the forecast was not that accurate.

We parked just outside Aberdovey adjacent to a cemetery, not the best choice for us aged walkers!

The route took us east on a gentle rising path where we joined a minor road near Erw Gwenllian. Part way along we stopped for morning coffee with views over the Dyfi estuary and on to Borth.

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Leading up from the coast

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Dyfi estuary

We carried on the road to its end and then turned on to a path for about half a mile before striking north to have lunch looking down on Llyn Barfog (the Bearded Lake).

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Lunch over looking Llyn Barfog

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Our return was now west along a path, muddy in places thanks to the sheep feeding area and down to the road along Happy Valley.

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The road along Happy Valley

At spot height 53 we joined the by way which led us down to the main road which we crossed and on to the golf club and back to the car.

Thursday

Waun Oer

This was to our “wet day” although I don’t recollect  the forecast saying that.

Route

This walk was again in the Maesglase area with the high point being Waun Oer.

We parked in the marked car park near spot height 363. It’s always good to let the car gain some height!

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Looking back to the car

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Looking north

You will notice lots of tightly packed contour lines with some steep ups and downs. Andy of course treated it as a flat walk whilst the “Navigator” and I felt the burn. The weather was closing in but we had some good views of the steep cwms to the east.

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Steep cwms

Some way from Waun Oer it was time for the full waterproofs and when we reached the cairn there were no views where we had hoped to glance Cadair Idris. We didn’t hang about and retraced our steps to have lunch in the woodland.

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Waun Oer

A joint decision was to extend the walk and we followed the fence line south east to Craig Portas for more views of the cwms following the edge back to our outward walk.

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Looking down from Cribin Fawr

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Cribin Fawr

At the disused quarry we stopped for afternoon tea and it was here the “Navigator” realised he had left his over trousers back at the lunch stop! They are still there if anyone passes by , finds them and wishes to notify me.

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Bereft of over trousers!Afon

Cursing his forgetfulness we walked on and down hill along the diagonal track in an easterly and then westerly back to the car.

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Afon Cerist cwm?

We passed a group of three men on the path who were dismantling a small tent and a camp chair. Curiosity got the better of me and they told me they were plane spotters and were hoping to see an American Osprey plane but the weather had meant a cancellation. I assume this is it.

Friday

Our last day and still standing and we were off south of Machynlleth to see waterfalls and wildness.

Route

We drove to the end of lane and walked through the farm,Cwmyrhaiadr (755964). The waterfalls  are signposted and its about a mile and quarter along first a good track and then deteriorating to a wet muddy one before a stiff climb to the top of the fall.

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Towards the waterfall

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Closer now. Our path can be seen in top left

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Mine machinery?

The climb starts at Llechwedd Melyn and then diagonally south west. The week’s walking was now taking its toll and the first climb I found tough but then recovered as the climb eased.

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Looking back from the top of the climb

Once at the top we headed for Llyn Penrhaeadr where lunch was eaten.

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Five locks!

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It would have been easy to have a doze here but it was not to be.We retraced our steps and walked through the woods to Hafodwnog and along the path towards Pen y Darren and then along and down through Bwlch y Groesen to the car.

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The end of a good week of walking with reasonable weather and when the Viewranger stats were added up we had walked about 50 miles and climbed 12700 feet.

Aberaeron

The “Navigator” had been studying the weather forecast for our Monday walk and it seemed that if we headed for Aberaeron and walked to Llanon we may be lucky and indeed we were.

Route

We parked on the south side of Aberaeron harbour with nearly all the boats parked up on dry land for the winter, clearly fair weather sailors.

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Aberaeron Harbour

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Many of the houses in the town are brightly painted which was a contrast to the cloudy day, albeit the views towards the Lleyn were reasonably clear.

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Looking south

This part of the coast was new to me although I have often driven past it.

Our plan was to walk to Llanon and make use of our bus passes back to the car hopefully missing the rain which was due to arrive about 1400.

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Afon Arth

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Colourful street in Aberarth

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Fossil of a conch like  thingy

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Waterfall

A lot of the path was muddy made worse by sharing it with cattle.

As we entered Llanon a bus arrived full of old folk just like us.

 

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.