Whitesands (Pembs) Wander

The Navigator suggested that we head for the coast on Monday as the weather was looking fine and the destination would be Whitesands Bay.

I apologise for the delay as I could not fully remember the route and had to consult with the Navigator

Route

We set off south from the car park on the coast path with stunning views from the off. At St Justinians tourists were waiting to board the boats which would take them to or around Ramsey Island and with the ribs no doubt riding the infamous “Bitches”.  This is a stretch of white water formed by the rocks jutting out from Ramsey and where quite some time ago I would kayak over to but leave my younger son to play in the huge waves which form there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Less wild ambitions today with feet firm on terra firma. We headed inland through Treginnis Isaf where there is a city farm and then onto Treginnis Uchaf – no trace of the ganol, across Waun Rhosson thankfully dry underfoot and onto Treleddyn.

 

There were lots of flora to spot including, orchids, ragged robin, honeysuckle, thrift and campion and others I have forgotten.

 

At that farm we just made it to safety when a herd of cows came speeding through the yard eithher to milking or a change of field.  Just up from the farm we stopped by a lake to have lunch and watched six water buffalo watching us.

Following lunch we walked on towards Lleithyr to rejoin the coast.

 

A fine day, perhaps summer has at last arrived.

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Two Days on the Wye

I am hijacking my own blog site to describe two days open boating on the River Wye – I was carrying everything in the boat, so boat packing.

Canoeing was my main outlet for the outdoors for a long period but in the last 12 months or so it has taken a back seat, partly because my canoeing buddies have not been available and also because of the dodgy knee.

Route Wednesday

Route Thursday

Thankfully a phone call from Ray invited me onto a trip he was planning to celebrate his birthday.

Old but bold

The venue was to be the River Wye.  I was not able to join them for the first two days and joined them at Lucksall Camping site near Holme Lacy. This is a first class site with flat manicured grass, frankly too good for scruffy canoeists! The staff are friendly and the price is pocket friendly, more than can be said for some other sites.

\My abode

I rolled up just as the evening meal was being talked about and I was supplied with a tasty curry and rice. I only used one breakfast out of my meal plan for the whole period.

A new use was found for tabasco sauce when Cas was suffering from a back problem and the only hot solution was the sauce. It seemed to do the trick and was used on a number of occasions.

We had an early night and were up and about the next morning and on the river by 0900 after I was fed again by Ray,s team.

About to depart

A lot of pictures follow as we headed for Wilton just down stream from Ross on Wye.

Cas in the stern and Lisa in the bow

Ray trying my boat (he,s not good enough)

Typical downstream view

Hard work this canoeing lark

Welcome sight of Ross on Wye

Our overnight stop was the small site on the banks adjacent to the White Lion. Tents erected and a few cuppas sunk and then off to Ross for pie and chips!

Wilton at the White Lion

It was a lovely evening and I slept with the tent door open with views of the river.  No monsters entered during the night and I was up early enjoying the peace and a cup of coffee.  Today was Ray’s birthday and he kindly treated us to a full English in the pub.

0600 hrs all is peaceful

Morning brew

The trip today was to be a little shorter with our destination at Wyedean Camp site at Symonds Yat.

Although the day started well with sunshine it changed to rain by the time we reached our get out. During the paddle Cas and Lisa paddled Ray’s open boat and their skill levels visibly increased as the day wore on, selecting lines and mostly avoiding problem areas.

Cas and Lisa setting up line

This stretch of the river seemed to have a lot of notices telling us “No mooring, no trespassing, no camping” The sooner that Wales and England adopt the Scottish attitude to access the better.

At the Wyedean site we quickly emptied the boats and tents were soon up as the shelter was a welcome break from the rain.

Artistic boats – but noisy brutes to paddle

Fancy carving at Symonds Yat

Saracens Head

My food cache remained intact once again as cas had booked a meal in the Saracens Head to celebrate birthday boy. An excellent meal it was as well.
By the time we returned to the tents the rain had stopped but it came back during the night. On Friday morning I was up early and actually ate breakfast from my own store!
All that was left was to pack up, arrange the shuttle and head home.
Many thanks to Ray for arranging the trip and letting me keep most of my food.

Kidwelly and Pembrey Country Park

Paul and I decided on a bike ride and for a route a lot of which would be new for us.

Route

We parked the car at the visitor site in Kidwelly next to the river. We took the shared trail on the northern side of the river which led to a minor road and past a small nature reserve.

 It was possible to either go left and head towards Llansaint and Ferryside or turn right back to Kidwelly.

We did neither but retraced our steps and cycled through Kidwelly and joined the National Cycle Route 4 which at this point is off road and heads into Pembrey forest and country park.

Before entering the forest there are wide open views and the occasional cow blocking the path! In the distance we could see the small airport and judging by the large areas of concrete we were riding on it must have seen a lot of action presumably in the second world war.

I was a little concerned about entering the forest as we had already passed a sign indicating the route was closed because of flooding and late last year I had to turn back when I rode from the other direction.

However although it was clear where the water had been the flood had gone although the track was a little rutted, probably not helped by forestry machinery.

We continued on to the Millenium path and turned back into the country park. We both remarked that this park, which covers a huge area, is a great facility.

A possible backpacking route?

We retraced our route, well almost, as we missed an obvious turning and found ourselves next to the race track and watched two powerful and noisy cars speeding around the track.

Notice the drawing of a duck? it was a low bridge.

Back on the correct path the earlier awkward cow had been joined by a lot of others, but they mooved (get it) off.

A pleasant ride and we picked the last of the good weather judging by the forecast for the weekend.

Llyn Y Fan Fawr and Fan Hir

I had just had a week in the flatlands of Norfolk and needed some “up” and The Navigator had just returned from a somewhat damp period near Machynlleth and needed some sun.  One of us was to strike lucky.

The usual Sunday conversation led to a trip which would take in Llyn Y Fan Fawr returning via the ridge on Fan Hir.

Route

The forecast led us to believe that there would be broken cloud, no rain and light winds. I have an idea for saving the country lots of cash and that is to shut the Met. Office and supply every household with a bunch of seaweed.

We set off  from the small church just up the road from Dan Yr Ogof and joined the Beacons Way and followed the Nant Tawe Fechan, where we had our morning coffee by a lovely waterfall. Our route then took us north underneath Fan Hir and on a small ridge leading us to Llyn Y Fan Fawr.  Lunch was consumed here.

Afon Tawe at the walk start

Waterfall on Tawe Fechan

From here on the weather deteriorated with the mist heading our way and which enveloped us as we climbed    
up towards Fan Hir on an engineered path, but passing on our right a recent landslide.

Here comes the mist

Landslide close to path

As we neared the top, three walkers, who we had been following most of the morning asked us about the route on Fan Hir as they were unsure about carrying on in the mist and now windy conditions.

We explained the path is clear on the ground and providing they stayed clear of the edge they should be fine. We kept together for a while but they sped on once it was clear the route had become obvious.

Our pace was slower and we still had the afternoon tea break to come. As we started to descend the mist began to clear and before long the wet weather gear was again in the rucksacks.

Breaks in the mist from Fan Hir

Mr & Mrs Navigator

Looking back to Fan Hir

The other party could now be seen heading for the road and we were relieved they had not walked over the cliff!

Could this be the Fan Hir Cantilever Stone?

Where’s the mist?

The lucky one was me as the walked included some up, but Mr & Mrs Navigator did not have the bright weather hoped for – there is always next week.

Llandeilo to Llanddarog

On Tuesday, Mrs Bob was having her hair primped in Llandeilo and it seemed a good idea to have a lift there and cycle home.

Trusted Steed

Route

Mad dogs and a Welshman go out in the midday sun! Yes it was a hot one.

I headed over Llandeilo bridge and turned right in Fairfach.  The plan was to cycle through Gelli Aur Country Park, but this was abandoned because of locked gates.  There are new owners now and although it seems the public footpaths are still available there is no obvious welcome for other modes of transport – I could be wrong!

Gelli Aur Park & Mansion

Anyway I carried on along the road and then turned left into Gelli Aur village stopping to look at the church, and a drink!

The well had run dry

Gelli Aur Church

Another view of church

I cycled on up the some what steep hill and zig zags looking for the turning right which would take me to Porthyrhyd. Would you believe it a council sign informed me that the road was closed except for access.

I decided to ignore the sign and carry on, if it was closed at least the return trip would be down hill.

Someway along the road another cyclist towing a youngster in a trailer appeared and he was sure the road was not fully closed.  Indeed it wasn’t, just a minor repair job which may have restricted motor vehicles.

On I went with good views north and south until dropping down into Porthyrhyd and my home in
Llanddarog.

Cenarth – Three Counties Challenge

The usual Sunday evening chat with The Navigator was a little worrying as he asked if I had  heard of the Three Peaks Challenge!  However the proposed walk on Monday was to be The Three County Challenge based on Cenarth.

Cenarth Falls
Huge Bracket Fungi

The weather had at last settled into a fine spell and there was no need for the water proofs, Chris even sported shorts.

Route

Cenarth lies on the Afon Teifi a lovely river well known for its salmon and sewin fishing, but is also a fine river for canoeing, my preference. We started by the Teifi  but our route took us to the tributary of the Afon Cych and our morning coffee break next to a ford.

Afon Cych
Nice property

We then continued via footpaths and lanes heading for Llechrhyd another village on the Teifi. We met some people who belonged to the Friends of Friendless Churches and were looking after a small church. This seemed a worthwhile charity as there are plenty of country churches in need of TCL.

We had lunch in Llechrhyd and set off for the northern side of the Teifi valley passing lots of spring flowers including one area of numerous orchids.

Llechrhyd Bridge
Glade

Our return to the car included a path running alongside the Teifi passing the falls at Cenarth.

Cenarth falls

What of the challenge? The Navigator informed me that we had in fact walked in Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion and of course I believe him.