Monday May 8th walked 9 miles
I like going on walks where I do not have to take the car and where I live I can achieve this. I have always been a keen walker and at the age of ten I walked and led a 20 mile walk with my cousin to visit an Auntie. The shock of my walk and visit is folklore in my family. I am walking Hadrian’s wall alone in September and I am using the area that I live in as my training ground. I live in the North end of the beautiful Rhymney Valley, in South East Wales.
I left the house at 7 45am the sun was up in all its glory spreading light and warmed by back. Through my barefoot meadow, the jackdaws were bickering. Cows seemed distress because the gate’s been left open AGAIN by ignorant off-road bikers and some of the cows have escaped. The ones in the meadow were making mooing warning sounds to the others who were outside on the road. I leave all this behind and wave to my favourite tree and make my way onto my first foot path.
The old Deri road which is car free due to road works. I hear the cuckoo in the distance above the song thrush. The blossom from the heavy-scented Hawthorn makes me dizzy. I see a shepherdess with four dogs rounding up the sheep. Yesterday I saw farmer Powell round his sheep up in his tractor and using the horn, it being a Sunday maybe his dog had the day off.
Half way up this dappled lane I take a right onto Deri Mountain. I breathed in the heavy dew grass and looked at the view and I felt high. I heard the other cuckoo across the dam. I have heard the cuckoo for many years but I have never see one. On to the Graig and in front of me was a buzzard searching for breakfast I could have reached out and touched him, suddenly he swooped to a nose of something below.
Walking down the steep path keeping mind to feet because the path is dry narrow and crumbly. I walked across the Cwm Darran trail. The song of the brook kept me company, making its way to the river Darran but my friend Dr Dai says it the river Bargoed. A green wood peck flies out screeching, followed by a nervous wood-pigeon. On to my next foot path Deri Woods. I love forest bathing it was really refreshing, I tingled all over and felt so alive. I heard a rustling sound it was rabbits scurrying about. Teacher, teacher sound of the great tit echoed through the trees.
Out to a farm clearing and the local wooden palette works, dust was everywhere and this is where my mans handkerchief comes in handy (I always take men’s hankies when I walk far better than tissues) Into my next forest bath, Groes Faen woods. The light looked so mystical and the path was quiet the only sound was the rustling of my back pack.
To a busy road where there’s no pavement up a short steep path and onto the Cwm Darran Trail. Robin followed me or was I following the robin, blackbird sang above and two male bullfinches were pursuing a female. It was lovely to see Mams pushing prams on the trail too, I like that. I called at Bargoed town, to my local library, my favourite building is a library.
Past St Gwladys primary school and St Peter’s catholic church and on to the Graig, what a path. Dappled in shade with criss cross shapes, the heavy aroma of the bluebells was intoxicating. Symphony of birds lightened my journey. The sun was hot and walking through woodlands was so calming and cool.
Into the sun shine above Caradoc’s bridge and my next path. Where I encountered a horse rider gingerly guiding his horse through two wooden gates. The only sound was sheep and lambs bleating and cars in the distance.
My final path I love dry stone walls, the feel of them and I always immerse my hands into the furring moss. Shoal of cloud shadows, skidding over the sheep shaved earth.
On to my barefoot meadow which was bare of cows and home for a late breakfast.