I am an experienced walker, I have walked most of South, West and East of Britain. Snowden. Walked part of the Camino, from St Jean over the Pyrenees into Spain and onto Pamplona. Walked the West coast of Ireland alone.
I will be walking Hadrian’s Wall 11th September. The walk is 80 odd miles and I will be walking over 5 days alone. I will also be raising money for Beresford Centre. I had an emotional breakdown in August 2016. Because in 1979 I had only 3 hours to make a life changing decision. 2006 I cruelly received shocking news that disturbed my soul and I lost the world in me. I have spent the last 10 years filling this gaping wound with people, events and projects that made me unhappy. August 2016 my GP gave me Beresford Centre and I have been receiving counselling since September 2016. The wonderful people who run the centre helped me to find myself and my world again.
I live in the Rhymney Valley and I am surrounded by many parks that were once mining colliery’s. To access these paths you have to walk or cycle along busy roads. On my way to work and on weekends I decided to use the surrounding parks and walk ways as part of my training for Hadrian’s Wall
Booked my flight to Newcastle Monday September 11th 2017 and arrive at 8am and will start my walk on that day.
Monday 11th September 2017 15 mile walk from Heddon – on – the – wall to Chollerford
Booked George Hotel Chollerford.
Tuesday 12th September 12 half miles from Chollerford to Haltwhistel.
Booked Bridgehouse B & B.
Wednesday 13th September 15 miles Haltwhistle to Banks
Booked Florries on the wall bunkhouse.
Thursday 14th September Banks to Carlisle 14 half miles
Booked Howards Lodge Carlisle.
Carlisle to Bowness on Solway 14 miles
Friday September 15th booked Old Chapel Bowness on Solway.
September 16th Train ticket booked leave Carlise 12 08 arrive Crew 13 57
leave Crew 14 08pm arrive Abergavenny 16 08pm. Thank you Andrew Hopkins
I cannot believe I have not been on this blog for nearly a month. I have walked many miles but so busy with other things.
3 weeks left.
From July 10th to August 14th walked over 70 miles. I know my fitness level is good and I believe I can walk Hadrian’s wall walk with confidence.
So I will start with Saturday July 8th walked 5 miles. Left the house at 8 30am. In the heat among the flies and midges. I pursued this delightful butterfly.
Above me a buzzard circled with her young.
I bumped into a friend on the way back. She told me the best thing for bites was Vick. The eucalyptus helps to take the itch away.
When I arrived home I realised I had been bit on my back by a horse fly. The bite was huge and nasty. The horse fly bit through my cotton vest and bra strap. What a waster.
Sunday July 9th walked 10 miles. Left the house at 7 40am. Covered in sun cream and mosquito guard. I stank of chemicals and Vick. The smell of vick reminded me of winter. Saw Pen Y Fan peeping from behind a cloud.
I was hot, unbelievable hot. Worse when I walked through the ferns and bracken. Felt my breath leaving me disappearing into the vapourless sky.
I stopped and surveyed my view. Caught the sun, scraping the sheep shaved earth.
I miss the scent of the earth. We need rain, we need it now. All I can smell was burnt arid earth.
I have two months left before I leave for Hadrian’s wall yea!! Now the training starts gulp.
Monday July 10th walked 11 miles. Left the house at 6 25am. Long sleeve cotton top, smell of Vick beneath my nostrils reminded me of winter. My inner voice said take a waterproof you might need it. For a change I listened. 6 30am The Sun danced with the clouds.
6 50am flies were up and I was breakfast. Out came my mosquito guard. I looked back to where I walked. In the distance the council estate where I live. surrounded by beautiful trees.
Hour into my walk took a photo of the sun. “Orange sky in morning shepherds warning”
I smelt the rain before it arrived and I was cold. Yes I packed a waterproof but should have packed a fleece and my beany.
The sweat from my 2 mile walk up hill was clinging to me. The wind turned my sweat to ice. I began to stiffen up and my lower back hurt. Two black caps in a tree warmed me and I quickened my pace. Over two hours in. I took another photo of the sun.
I looked up and rain drops spat in my face. I stopped to eat my apple and banana. I decided to put my water proof on and cover my back pack. I took out my little rose-covered brolly. I began to warm up, pain in my back disappeared, along with the sun.
3 hours in another photo of a heavy leaden sky.
Home ward bound not a sign of any midges or horse flies. I breathed in mother earth and her sweet smell intoxicated me.
The sky towards my home.
June 13th to June 18th walked 20 miles.
Friday June 9th 2pm
Friday after work new leather boots dubbin. I walked from Valley floor to valley high. The weather was good, light sunshine and a good breeze. Over Gelligaer common through the secret meadow onto Cwm Darran Trail. Edge of Cwm Darran Parc I took a right and saw the ancient stately as a galleon Heron waiting for its catch and found this stunning waterfall.
I carried on through a right of way and thought I heard a peacock, rubbed my ears and heard the sound again. As I drew near Troedyrhiw-Iestyn farm. There among the chickens, cockerel and hens was a white peacock. Up through open moorland and to a stile that was fenced over. No doubt fenced over by the owner of the white peacock. A steep diagonal walk I looked back and caught this stunning view.
Towards an ancient wood dappled in light and shade and where I forest bathed, so refreshing I tingled all over.
Steep walk but glimpses of the Darran Valley, through the trees was a pleasant distraction. Onto the spine of the Darran and Rhymney valley where I sat and ate my apple. Dear readers, apple is far better than chocolate. I learnt this lesson when I walked up the second hardest route to Snowden( the rangers pass) A friend who was walking with me was drained of energy I told her to eat her apple. She did and was soon revived and we carried on.
Followed the stone wall and soothed some restless cows with my dulcet tones
I came across Colin on his quad bike. Colin is a farmer and owner of Cefn Bach farm. We spoke about the white peacock at the farm below. Colin told me the peacock was a guard dog and the postie was terrified of him. We spoke on green energy and the wind farm roaring away above my head. He said it helps financially towards the farm, I nodded. He also heard of me. I thought as the mad walking poet. No. He heard of me because I saved farmer Dai Powell’s bull calf 2 years previous. I told him I was training for Hadrian’s wall he laughed. I liked his laugh it stayed with me for a mile or two. We shook hands, Colin as hands like shovels and gave a good honest handshake.Through a meadow where lilac butterflies fluttered and a pair of pied wagtails were courting.
The wind, black bird, thrushes and a robin song kept me company but the bump, bump, wosh, wosh sound of this annoyed me.
Walked 12 miles and felt good and my new boots were happy too.
Saturday June 10th 8 25am
Wearing walking shorts, waterproof and new dubbin boots I set off to the call of the wild and my wilderness walk. No two days are the same. Rain played a tune on my hood, drizzle licked my left leg and mist surrounded me but still I carried on.
On to the road bare of cars only sound was the skylark, bleating sheep and the cuckoo. When I came across this mushroom which a slug was eating. I thought of my walking friend and mushroom expert Amanda Birch.
On to the top of Gelligaer common and the roman road and where druids spoke words of wisdom and not hate. I had walked up a steep path for 3 miles in the pouring rain.
I was dripping wet but carried on because when I walk Hadrian’s wall it might rain and I will not allow rain to stop play. 2014 I walked the Caerphilly Boar walk with my old walking friend sadly deceased and still missed Keith Fairhall. We walked 22 miles through the rain and in the distant and out of reach was a cruel sinister sun. 2014 walked part of the Camino and on the second day, walked 18 miles through Spanish rain. Being Welsh and living in sometimes sunny Wales I should be used to walking in the rain.
On the top of Deri graig I lost my path but I surveyed the view. It was like being on a plane when you fly through clouds and inbetween you saw patches of land. It was like that today. Through the mist I caught glimpses of Parc Cwm Darran lake. I knew I had walked to far right and needed to be more left. I saw two walkers in the distant they were walking towards Nut Wood. Wiped my face in my soaking wet hankie. Walked down the steep path that brought me opposite Parc Cwm Darran bus stop. I stopped at the bus stop and ate an apple and a delicious peach. Cut the walk short and walked the rain licked path of the Cwm Darran trail.
Dog walkers I am unaware that your dog you named Trixie or Oscar is as gentle as a lamb. When your dog that you cannot control and you treat like a spoilt child is charging at me bearing its teeth. He or she to me is a wild beast and wants to bite my leg off. Owners of uncontrollable and spoilt dogs please keep them on leads!!!
To my secret meadow full of buttercups and mash orchids. I am soaking but I feel an inner peace and sigh with relief.
Head down walked up old Deri lane saw Farmer John on his quad bike. We waved to each other too wet to talk. Walked 12 miles.
Sunday 11th June.
Left the house 8 05am the weather was dry with a keen wind but I could still smell rain in the air. New leather boots left at home still damp from yesterdays walk. Wearing my old faithful boots. Through what was once Bargoed colliery now a woodland park. When I was a town councillor I helped to plant trees along the river path. Today the river Rhymney was full, toffee and cream colour furiously snaking its way to Mor Hafon.
Came out at Factory Road bottom of Aberbargoed hill. Walked toward Groesfaen woods. Up through the forest which was cold. I did not forest bath today more like an ice bath and the wind whipped at my back and the trees sounded like the sea. Bird song kept my heart warm. Up the top where the wind farm was whirring away, found this delightful view.
Wearing linen shorts, fleece top, good socks and boots I was freezing. Liken to a beach in winter. Farmer Colin’s cows want to follow me I shout “Cow up” They stand and stare as I with goose bumps stumble along to the ancient wood with beautiful British indigenous trees.
Still cold the sun shone rays but they do not reach me. Down to Troedyrhiw Iestyn Farm and the white peacock. I saw the top of its head and try to entice it out for a photo. The peacock was not playing.To the water fall where I stopped and watched dippers and ate a peach and a oatie biscuit.
I am now in Parc Cwm Darran and where families and cyclist are wrapped up against the cold wind. I picked up my pace and pulled my fleece hood over my head. Walked the length of the park out the other end and up the side of Deri Graig. Where I got lost briefly in rain yesterday. The steep climb warmed my bones and I looked back to where I walked.
Onto the wilderness and my legs screamed for my walking trousers. Reach for my apple and orange. Both are gone taken by nature. In the distance haunting sound of the curlew. I heard them before I saw them, off-road bikes!!!! Birds scatter, cows run, I stand and counted 12 off-road bikes. Please you off-road bikers who hate nature find a field you can churn up all day and stay away from true nature, where you are not allowed!!!!
My wilderness was spoilt by the noise and the smell of 2 stroke. I walked another way towards Nut Wood and walked through a knee-high meadow.
Onto the old Deri road and I am still cold, the sun seems to be one step ahead of me. Near Meredith farm I found this beautiful foal. This foal made up for the haters of nature off-road bikers.
As I neared home I spied two red kites hunting for brunch and a flock of redwings that followed me by flying from tree to tree. Coming towards me was Farmer John he had just finished rounding his sheep. Riding on his quad bike with his two sheep dogs on his lap. He laughed and said.
“You haven’t walked far since I saw you yesterday” I laughed and told him I walked 12 miles.
“Aye” he said “But you are keen walker”
I replied “Aye or a mad one”
He smiled and drove off.
Walked 12 miles
Monday 12th June
Left the house at 8 25am, weather cold but dry. Walked through the council estate where I live and onto where miners once walked to work, Bargoed Colliery now a Woodland Park.
Water cascading from Gilfach into the river Rhymney.
Beautiful bird song followed me and the river Rhymney sang a lament. 2 miles in and I still had not warmed up and I felt very cold. Wearing walking shorts was not good. I walked over the twisted bridge to Britannia end and under the bypass. Still not warmed up.
Walked up to the top of the park towards the bypass such pleasant surroundings.
Other side of Bargoed Woodland park where I found a meadow and my old chimney sweep John Thompson we chatted for a short while.
Made my way towards Cwm Darran trail and which was once the Rhymney Valley Brecon railway route and Ogilvy colliery. Now wild strawberries wait to be picked . A chorus of bird song was above this beautiful canopy of trees and the river Bargoed twinkled beneath the tress.
Hood up all the time I was walking and I am very quick walker but I still had not warmed up and I was very cold. To cheer me up I walked through my secret meadow where butterflies and bees were in abundance. What a beauty I sighed with delight.
Walked 9 miles.
I chose to walk in the surrounding area of where I live because I did not want to take the car. You can see by my photos I live in a beautiful unspoilt area. However, where I live was once heavy industry of coal and steel. All replaced by leisure and nature will always take back what she owned.
What I have learnt from my 4 days. Make sure you wear proper clothing it might be June but the weather was very autumnal. I walked at a set time this was wrong should have paced myself but when it was raining and cold I did not want to stop stare for long periods. When I walk Hadrian’s wall I will be walking 15 miles over a whole day not over 5 hours. I know that Northumbria is a lot colder than South East Wales. I Will make sure I have all necessary gear.
Walked 45 miles
Sunday June 4th walked 5 miles. Wearing my new leather walking boots that were dubbed last night. I Set off at 7 10am with good intentions to walk the spine of Deri, New Tredegar and Brithdir. There was enough warning from the cattle and sheep who were all laying on the ground and the big grey cloud that was following me and the fact I could smell the rain that was on its way but I am not a fair-weather walker and so I continued. Over the common on to old Deri road down past the dam and onto the Cwm Darran trail. Up until then the only sound were song thrushes, black birds, robins and the teacher teacher calling from blue tits. The wind picked up and sounded like the sea in the trees, waterproof hood up as the heavens opened to the sound of bacon frying on my hood. Spied squirrels, rabbits and a pair of Jays. I noticed a Buzzard on a telegraph pole, I stopped we stared at each other I won he flew off. On the edge of the village of Deri I decided to walk back. all the time I was out I never saw a soul sometimes I like that.
Saturday 3rd June walked 6 miles nice circular Mynydd Y Garth. The sun was high with a slight breeze good walking weather. I walked into many cobwebs and I knew I was the first person to walk this path that morning. Up on to the top of Garth the wind was keen and kept me company butwhen you are hot it is good to have the wind by your side. Panoramic views of South Wales and Somerset were stunning.
Wednesday 31st May day off from work walked 9 miles In my own back yard walked part of the spine of Deri and Brithdir. Walked the steep part of Groes Faen. Found a tree trunk for a seat, I do love trees.
On to the top and where the farmer was muck spreading and the panoramic view You can see the three beacons St Sanann Bedwellty, Islwyn and Gelligaer church.
I was hot when I arrived at the top and the wind was great company. Swifts flew before me shadows of clouds shaved the earth and herd of cows wanting to be my friend but I wanted to be alone. I could not access the right of way its was to overgrown and I wore shorts. I diverted to the woods above Deri woods an eery steep climb down.
I picked up a branch from an oak tree this helped me to keep mind to feet. I looked up caught this view.
Through the back of Deri and onto the Cwm Darran trail and to my colourful secret meadow.
Noticed in my barefoot meadow the mushrooms were out must show Amanda.
Monday 22nd to Sunday 28th walked 33 miles
Tuesday 16th May to Sunday 21st May walked 25 miles
From Tuesday May 9th to Monday May 15th I have walked 41 miles. Need to do more than 41 miles
Tuesday May 9th walked 7 miles
Wednesday May 10th walked 5 miles
Sunday May 29th walked 9 miles high circular. left the house at 5 50am. The sun was high
As I approached the kissing gate I was greeted by a beautiful bull calf.
the sky in front of me still had scars of the night.
Followed the old Deri road only sound was the cuckoo, sheep and my boots.
I came to the farm where Mike Meredith lives where the right way is blocked. I tried to walk through this right away last Sunday. In the beginning the path was tranquil but once I got near the farm that Mike Meredith owns. The path was shocking, knee-deep in muck and stingy nettles. I walked on the edge where I was nearly knocked over by 2 Doberman and a happy sheep dog.
Through Nut wood and where the right away signs have been removed only the escape signs were left. Down an old lane above the village of Deri on to the wilderness and I was happy sat and eat an apple liquid sound of the skylark kept me company.
Monday 22nd Taff Trail Morganstown end walked 6 miles.
Mirror reflection of Castel Coch, mystical green trail, found a meadow opposite Radyr Weir and a squirrel enjoying its breakfast. Please look to blog called “Other side of the Taff Trail” for more info.
Wednesday 24th May walked with my dear friend Amanda in Waterfall Country back of Pontfechan. 9 miles me on the edge.
Amanda and I behind a curtain of waterfall.
Wednesday 17th May 6 miles. Walking in my back yard and was joined by my dear walking friend Amanda. Amanda was really impressed about the surrounding area of where I live.
More photo’s of my back yard.
Thursday May 11th walked 7 miles the rain came I could smell it on the wind, I heard on the green canopy above me. I walked through 3 woodlands crossed the river Darran twice.
On to the Graig and the thunder boomed above me what a sound!!!!
Towards the common the butter cups shone a smile at me.
Friday May 12th 3 miles through Bargoed country park without a phone it was great just to walk hear and see.
Saturday May 13th walked 6 miles
My popular circular walk that takes me up the old Deri road where I heard 2 cuckoos calling to each other. The wind whipped at my back and it was good to see puddles but not good to see dead toads on the road. Past the bleating sheep and teeting lambs. The rain played a lovely tune on the hood of my waterproof. The view from the dry stone wall and it was cold so glad I wore my fleecy hoody under my coat.
On the way back the sun winked behind a cloud has two wood pigeons scattered
Sunday May 14th walked ten miles left the house at 7 30am to the basin of the Darran Valley.
To higher ground
With wonderful views of Parc Cwm Darran
Behind me views of Pen Y Fan among the clouds.
On to moorland and where I heard the Curlew
Monday May 15th walked 4 miles in the pouring rain was soaked right through.
From Monday 1st May to May 7th I have walked 37 miles. I will need to up my walks from now on.
Sunday May 7th walked 4 miles to the echoing sound of the cuckoo what joy!!!
Saturday May 6th walked part of the Vale of Glamorgan coastline with walking friend Amanda Birch. Nash point circular. I have not walked this area of the coastline in years. I noticed a lot of erosion.
The colourful side of the coast and Amanda’s dog Sam
Thursday May 4th walked 6 miles wind was keen and a holly tree sound like an electric pylon.
Wednesday May 3rd walked 6 miles before and after work. I can now feel a difference towards my health and well-being and this is good. Saw a yellow Hammer too my first in number of years. gold finches everywhere and the liquid sound of the sky lark. A deliciously cold wind kept me warm.
Tuesday May 2nd walked 6 miles before and after work. This morning walking to work just me, dappled sun rays, birdsong and the heady scent of wild garlic pure joy!!!!!
Monday May 1st walked 6 miles saw bullfinches pairing up, flocks of gold finches heard the song of the beautiful song thrush and it was good to see rain drops.
From Monday 24th April to Sunday 30th April I have walked 38 miles
Thursday 27th walked 4 miles Friday 28th walked 4 miles. Saturday 29th walked 3 miles.
Sunday 30th April I walked 5 miles This walk I do regular over my barefoot meadow onto Gelligaer Common over the roman road and on to the old Deri lane. I heard to beautiful song of the Cuckoo my spirit soared. Walking on the lane i came across two trees growing into one. I love trees and I hug them.
As I made my way past the dam I heard the cuckoo above the bleating lambs blackbirds song and a red kite calling. Then I saw the black scarred graig.
The arsonist or arsonists, you who have no care, who are so ignorant to all that nature holds. If you ever get caught and I hope you do!!!! The crime of Arson is for life it never goes away. Think carefully you who are young, when older and looking for a good job having Arson on your record will destroy your chances of ever having a decent job.
Wednesday 26th April walked Henrhydd water falls and Grougllech woods. With my walking friend Amanda Birch. The weather was cold and the sun danced between the clouds. The water falls were not at their best due to the very dry weather WE NEED RAIN!!!!. Path was steep but the scent of water on earth was beautiful
We walked on the river bed Amanda informed me that she had never seen the water so low. Rain came but did not last.
Always keep mind to feet, Amanda fell (she was unhurt) but her baccie tin fell into the river her dog Sam was of no use Amanda managed to retrieve her baccie tin.
We did a circular I do like circular’s and the views were stunning
The walk was 8 miles.
Tuesday April 25th walked 9 miles puffed up snow clouds followed me.
Monday 24th April walked 4 miles to my secret meadow at 8 23am I heard the cuckoo for the first time this year, smelt rain on the wind and I felt joy.
Tuesday 18th April to Saturday 22nd April I walked 30 miles.
Saturday 22nd April walked 10 miles with my dear friend and fellow walker Amanda Birch and Sam the dog. Merthyr is a great working class town which should be a city. At the back of Merthyr there is so much beauty.
We left Cyfartha Castle made our way to the Taff Fechan Nature Reserve
From this tranquil walk we made our way to Morlais Castle the sun was now beating down on our heads, water proofs and fleeces came off. Head down backside up to Morlais Castle the views on top were stunning cold stop in the crypt below.
We called in the Aberglassney pub for a pint of real ale and a proper sandwich.
We walk the other side of Taff Fechan Nature reserve it was truly beautiful.
Walking is so good for you in every aspect. I am a lone walker but it was great to spend the day with a like minded spirit like Amanda.
Friday 14th to Monday 17th I have walked 33 miles 27 miles on the Rhymney Valley Ridgeway.
Monday 17th April left Caerphilly Mountain at 8 40am the sun was high in the sky and very warm, no wind at all. I did not want to walk to Cefn Onn because to me Cardiff is not the Rhymney Valley.
Off came my water proof coat and I made my way towards Mynydd Rudry. I have never walked Mynydd Rudrey or the common before it was a good walk but I noticed fire scars from a recent deliberate fire but bracken and bluebell shoots were everywhere.
Making my way towards Machen I found a new walk (I thought must tell RT and Dan about this walk) The walk was called the Machen Forge Walk a lovely tranquil walk. I could see Mynydd Machen in the distance and I thought calm before the storm.
I stopped outside the church in Machen to eat some food and to drink some water. I have walked up Mynydd Machen 4 times it is a hard walk. As I made my way up I noticed lots of trees had been felled some on the Rhymney Valley Ridgeway path. I found this annoying, twice I had to find another route. Head down backside up I spied 3 Apache Indians, no it was 3 off-road bikers dressed in colourful leathers. I shouted you watching out of the Calvary they laughed. At the top red-faced, heart racing but the view calmed my soul.
Below me was Risca ahead Sirhowy Valley beyond the Black mountains, Pen Y Fan, Brecon Beacons. behind me Newport, Cardiff, Severn estuary, Somerset and North Devon hills. From there I made my way towards Rhymney Valley.
Sky larks were everywhere 2 male long tail tits were pursuing a female. A pair of red kites circled above the wind had picked up and I felt pure joy.
The path was now nasty, chewed up and spat out by off-road bikes and very rocky underfoot. I took the wrong turning instead of going towards Mynydd Grug I took the Sirhowy Valley walk instead, easy done both signs look very similar. I was now on the Ravens walk I have walked this walk many times the last time was 2 years ago.
Walking down a steep path I fell, a gentle fall, on my bum I carried on down the path I giggled all the way down. The last 4 miles were dire and painful, no walker likes walking on tarmac. My leg joints played Cosi Fan Tutti, my mind played Chopin, my heart Bob Dylan.
Hot bath and a glass of good red wine.
Some photos of today’s walk
April 6th to 14th April I have walked over 40 miles.
Friday 14th April I walked 12 miles of the Rhymney Valley Ridgeway from Caerphilly Mountain to Penallta Parc. I have walked full length (28 miles) of Rhymney Valley Ridgeway twice, walked 20 miles, 14 miles but today only 12 miles.
From Trig point to Trig point
Caerphilly trig point towards Graig Y Allt and beyond
Senghenydd Dyke towards Pontypridd and beyond
At 1 15pm on Senghenydd Dyke I saw my first Swift of the year. After passing the Rose and Crown at Eglwysilan about half a mile the right away was blocked so was the kissing gate I had to climb a mountain of dry earth. The weather was proper walking weather, low cloud sometimes sunshine, drizzle and a fine bracing wind. Above the Rowan Tree pub and left of Penallta Parc beware of the wooden bridge the wood has gone soft and it is not safe so walk carefully. I could see for miles the Severn estuary, Flat and Steep Holme even the North Devon hills.
Saturday April 8th walked 6 miles but the day before I walked 4 miles in trainers because of this my ankles hurt while walking this morning. Must remember to train with walking boots only!!!
This morning sun rise below mystical magical Rhymney Valley
I walked on Cwm Darran Trail, up to Groes Faen, through Deri woods, back onto the Cwm Darran Trail across my meadow and onto the Graig. Photos of a dappled wood along the river Bargoed where I caught a patch of frost
Thursday April 6th walked through Bargoed Country park which was once a thriving colliery. When I was a Councillor for Bargoed we helped to plant trees in this beautiful oasis with the only park with a train station in the middle. Through a bike accident in 2009 I asked CCBC to cover the then new zig zag bridge and they did and all the other bridges as well. (Far better than suing ) Saw my first butterfly of the year, dippers flitted about some photos I took. These stunning parks that were once coal pits make my training for Hadrian’s Wall worthwhile.
Nature’s dark side, while walking on Monday 3rd of April on the Cwm Darran Trail I stopped to listen to a blackbird sing when a Sparrow Hawk swooped and took the black bird and his song. I had never seen anything like it in all the years I have been walking. side.
March 27th to April 4th I have walked 30 miles Should have walked more but work and poetry commitments got in the way.
Tuesday 4th April after work, I walked Penallta Parc the Parc was Penallta Pit, the pithead baths are still there. I had written a poem called Pits to Parks 2006 covering all the colleries that were the Rhymney Valley and Sirhowy my poem was published in a book called “How Black was my Valley”
My poem pits-to-parks
Photos of Penallta Parc
Sunday 19th March to Sunday 26th I walked 30 miles.
Friday 24th March after work, I walked 14 miles from Maes Y Cwmmer, Ystrad Mynach, Nelson, Bedlinog top of Deri, Gelligaer common and Bargoed.
Wind swept, wall to wall sunshiny day. I was pleasantly tired, after a hot bath and delicious food I was ready for gweli Welsh for bed.
Some photos I took along the way
I live in a beautiful valley that gives me so much joy
From Wednesday March 14th to Saturday March 18th I have walked 24 miles.
Today Saturday March 18th I went outside the Rhymney Valley and walked 10 miles of the Sirhowy Valley. From Nye Bevan Stones to the out skirts of Holly Bush. The last time I was at the Nye Bevan stones was to hear Jeremy Corbyn speak. I left the stones at 10 10am with rain and bird song for company and I took the wrong turning and ending up in Ebbw Vale. This was a good teacher for me to always take notice of where the sign post is pointing.
Towards the end of the walk I came across some difficulty but human contact is better than any map or compass. I met a lovely lady named Denise who gave me a lift back to Bargoed in her mini.
Photos of the beautiful Sirhowy Valley.
Tuesday 14th March walked 8 miles witnessed beautiful pair of mistel thrush their song made my heart sing.
From Monday 6th March till Sunday 12th I have walked 30 miles. It is hard to motivate yourself after you have been working all day but the pleasure it brings and the inner peace is very rewarding.
Along the way I have seen Mistle thrushes with twigs in their beak preparing their nest, lots of bird pairing up and my first lambs of the season. I know the photo is not good but they are real lambs.
Been away on the Gower for a couple of days came back with a stinking cold.
Sunday March 5th 9am 3 half miles into a Northly wind it was deliciously cold.Everywhere was waterlogged huge puddles in the distance a car is hurtling towards me but I stop and asked the driver to let me pass and she did other wise I would have had a soaking. A pair of Red Kites circled above me. They say Red Kites in Wales today all come from one female who survived my clinging on in deep mid Wales. All birds of prey fascinate me.
Cars whizz past me tooting at the sheep, wild ponies come and give me a display. My throat is still sore and my sinuses are having a field day but the last time I walked was Tuesday 28th February. I need to build up my stamina.
I look towards Pen Y Fan it is covered in snow, the sky looked stormy and on the dry stone wall the wind picked up wood chippings from a field half mile away and dropped them in between the stones.
Teary eyes runny nosed rosie cheeks, I flew home with the wind at by back.
Friday 24th February. Walked 3 miles before work over Hengoed viaduct, a flat path that is shared by cyclist and dog walkers, is it me or are there more dogs than ever. Towards Maes-y-cwmmer I caught spring in the sun rays.
Above Hengoed viaduct.
Went out after work onto my healing garden I noticed some cars who passed me stank of cannabis. Birds are pairing up, cows mooing, sheep with swollen bellies full with lambs Walked 5 miles. Captured the sun nestled on a silver sky. 8 miles today
Wednesday 22nd February. After work I walked a ten-mile circular. The weather was deliciously windy and fast showers but i wore my water proofs. I do like the sound of the weather on my waterproofs the rain sounds like bacon frying and the wind like a yacht in full sail. My knees played up when walking down hill they sang Led Zeplin to me.
No walk tomorrow busy with work.
Tuesday 21st February Once on the paths the beauty of nature is breath-taking. Lately, I have never seen so many dog walkers and because of this there is more dog faeces on paths. A lot of dogs are not on leads either. Dear dog walker when your lovely animal is bounding towards a stranger please do not assume that the strangers knows your dog like you do and it can be a frightening moment. By law dogs must be on leads at all times.I walked 3 miles before work and 4 miles after work, 7 miles. Beautiful winter colour and tree reflecting in the path and rain to wash the dog faeces away.
Hoping to walk 10 miles tomorrow gulp!!
Monday 20th February. This morning I walked a 6 mile circular that included 2 strenuous hills and wonderful scenery.The pool of water was full of frogs and I love stone walls they hold history and nature within their walls, the green moss added a smile. The mist in the distance kept me going.
Another walk tomorrow hopefully more than 6 miles.