Afan Argoed

We were heading east today, to Afan Argoed Forest. This is a well known mountain bike centre but there are lots of good walking trails here as  well.

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Route

The weather was not playing fair and full wet weather gear was climbed into and we set off just before the arrival of two buses full of children. i have no idea what happened to te children but the rain disappeared.

There are a number of interesting things to see at the centre all connected to mining and worth a look..

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Old Blacksmiths

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The Navigator giving us instructions

Our route took us down a a made up tar mac track which once carried a mineral railway. You need to be aware in this area as some paths are for bikes only.

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Never a bungee when required

On the north side of the valley we headed north to Cwm Pelenna

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Just after the mountain centre and the ruined “refuge for weary travellers” and Gyfylchi farm we were joined by two springers.

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This is for Paul – we ignored it.

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Lost again!

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It looked like mum and son. After about 100 yards mum returned but the youngster continued to follow us. We kept on hoping he would also return but he clearly liked our company and stuck with us. he was still there at lunch and we were resigned to putting him in our car and driving to Gyfylchi Farm after the walk.. He was well behaved and even when a scarf was attached to his collar when we were near sheep he accepted it. Our bacon was saved when a Royal Mail van bounced up a narrow farm lane and he knew the dog and agreed to take him back to the farm.

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When we started our way south a large wind farm came into view with all its accompanying roadways. I note on the map attached to this blog that these intrusions on the landscape even have their own markings and is adjacent to Bol Las. Thankfully we left these whirring nightmares behind and descended down a lovely valley into Cwm Afan and along the north side of the river back to the car

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A selection of gates for differing purposes.

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Amman Valley Cycle Trail

I thought that I would extend the usual ride from Panyffynnon / Brynamman to Cwmllynfell. The additional section is not fully completed as there is a short section of a public footpath from Brynamman alongside the river Nant Garw. It then becomes a traffic free tarmac path to just beyond Cwmllynfell.

Route The gadget didn’t pick up that I returned to the start!

It was sunny all day but a chill in the air with a headwind on the way out, but much faster return trip.

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Afon Amman

 

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For my non Welsh speaking friends!

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I’m not sure either but I sat on one for a coffee break

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The grass is greener —–!

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Goodwick Circular

Apparently Mr navigator was looking for a rest from tending his estate and a walk was called for. The destination was  to be Goodwick on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, but the walk was to be an inland one.

Route

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A huge barn – renovation project?

We were soon on footpaths and heading for a strange object on the hillside, shown as “Beacon” on the ordnance map. We have seen this from various  viewpoints and at one time it remained a mystery but we now know this is a beacon for the transatlantic aeroplanes which they log onto when entering the UK.

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The Beacon

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A little later we met the farmer who had been feeding his sheep and although he had had a good lambing season the grass was slow in growing and supplementary feed was necessary.

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Looking down towards  Goodwick

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The Black Sea?

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My assumption of as coastal walk was incorrect but shows that Pembrokeshire has good inland walks as  well

 

Llyn Clywedog

One of the volunteer jobs I help Many Tears Animal Rescue with is the occasional transporting of dogs to specialist vets.

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Thursday  I travelled to Hafren Vets in Llanidloes with seven dogs. The surgery has a specialist in bone surgery and each of the dogs either has leg problems or broken jaws.

It would take several hours to assess all the dogs and as it was a fine day I travelled a short distance to Llyn Clywedog an area I had not been to previously.

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The views were fantastic and with lunch packed into a rucksack off I went for a short walk. I came across Glyndwr’s Way and followed this for a short while and then joined the interpretative trail laid out by the Severn Trent Authority.

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This led down a finger of land sticking out into the lake. At the end I came across a party of young children being taught to sail. There was a brisk wind blowing but they were doing very well.

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The ridge I walked down

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I had a lazy lunch, read a little and looked at the views before heading back via a path close to the water.

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Judging by the numbers of lambs these boys had been busy

 

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Old lead mines

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No cake today

Back at the vets I was told they would keep 2 dogs for urgent operations and the rest would need to return in due course.

 

 

Bronwydd and Gwili Valley

Free again from the “Navigators” decisions, Paul and I chose another walk from Cicerone’s Walking in Carmarthenshire.

Route

We parked in the car park of the Bronwydd Village Hall and walked upstream along the Afon Gwili. For those who enjoy a spot of white water kayaking/canoeing this is a splendid grade 2 river with one grade 3ish falls.

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Adolph was desperate to capture Bronwydd! 

The guide makes mention of a well placed bench where we turn left and head for the road. We used to have our lunch on that bench after canoeing down river from Cynwyl Elfed. Once over the road the route headed steadily uphill near the chapel and overlooked the Nant Cwmdwyfran valley.

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Paul hoping for draught Felinfoel

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Towards Carmarthen Fans

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We had a break for coffee in the grounds of St Michaels Church in Newchurch a hot bed of those who supported the Rebecca Riots and then headed for a pleasant bridleway climbing up and then down in the Nant Hir Valley.

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Lovingly restored

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I liked the shape

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A nice sign

This led to yet another valley, Nant Tinc and a path leading back to Bronwydd where we passed the Gwili Steam Railway Station before arriving back at the car.

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How do you get the lawn mower up there.

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Beyond restoring?

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An old sheep dip crossing

 

 

Drefach Felindre & Woollen Trail

Paul and I decided on a  walk taken from Cicerone’s “Walking in Carmarthenshire” and was based on Drefach Felindre in the Teifi Valley.

Route

This area was the centre of the Welsh woollen industry during the late 1800s and late 1900s. We started from the National Wool Museum of Wales.

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There are a lot of ruined buildings in the area a lot of them connected to the woollen trade with different trades carried out in them.

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Pant y Bargud

One of the ruins  was being renovated by a chap we came  across who clearly from his seat feeding a roaring wood fire was in no hurry to finish his project. The original house belonged to a seamstress, but now all that was visible were a number of walls. There is no electric, water or other facilities but the new owner was confident he could live off grid.

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The woods were starting to show signs of bluebells and other spring plants.We walked through the small hamlets of Cwmhiraeth, Cwmpengraig and Penboyr where lunch was had in the grounds of the austere chapel.

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Odd shaped farm building

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Soar Chapel Cwmpengraig

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Penboyr Chapel

On a path running through woodland above the Bargoed valley was a path known as the Coffin Trail. Carrying the deceased along this path must have been hard work but some early entrepreneur opened a pub along the path known as Swigod Arms (Blue Tit Arms) which sadly closed 100 years ago and just a ruin exists now.

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Blue Tit Pub

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Glamping?

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A real wood conversion

The last hamlet we passed near was Drefelin (Milltown) once known as the Huddersfield of Wales

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Check your brakes

The walk finished back in the museum where a welcome coffee (but no cake) was had.