I have walked the Morganstown end of the Taff Trail many times alone and with friends. I have cycled the full length of the Taff Trail three times (55 miles) From Breacon, shadow of Pen Y Fan, to Cardiff Docks. Raising £500 pounds for TARAGGAN. I have the original map of the Taff Trail. The full length vision from my cartographer friend Alan Williams. The map hangs on my bedroom wall.
Today I walked alone. Parked the car just up from the Ty Nant pub, outside allotments in the shade. Sun was warming up as I walked through Pugh’s garden center car park, taking a right I crossed diagonally over a football pitch. Over the Merthyr to Cardiff railway line. Past Gelynis farm which is now a B&B. Onto the Taff Trail. I always walk in the middle of the path so that bikes can go round me. Dear reader, did you know bikes are supposed to give way to walkers not they other way round. The same with cars they are supposed to give way to pedestrians.The roar of the M4 was behind me replaced by birdsong. Following the serene river Taff stopped caught this beautiful reflection.
Walked in dappled shade, sometimes the light tinkle of some bike bells and loud chat of female runners. I also heard Radyr weir in the distance but more on the weir on the way back. Opposite Radyr Weir was a breathtaking meadow, it brought tears to my eyes. I wanted to roll around in it like when I was a child but I stopped took control and stood captivated. Brought out my coloured pencils and sketched what I saw. I think my camara caught the best image.
Back onto the trail approaching Radyr train station. I veered to the right and walked the river bank away from bikes but alas bikes use this path too.
Cut up through the private housing estate leaving the busy path and smooth sound of the river behind. Onto the Glamorgan Canal walk and where I saw the electric blue kingfisher wings last year. This is the otherside of the Taff Trail. Wild garlic filled my senses, lily pads were everywhere. A line of ducks with their heads under wings, sat in a row on an old tree. A tame squirrel was eating its breakfast.
I sat for a while waiting for the allusive Kingfisher that never came, only dogs and their owners, squabbling ducks, the shriek of a jay and a pair of Magpies playing. I sat and sketched again. As I sat in this beautiful serene setting I felt the history of this canal in my bones. I do know why though some of my ancestors were dock birthing masters.
A remnant of a canal opened in 1798 between Cardiff and the iron works in Merthyr Tydfil and later utilised by coal mines centered around the Taff Valley.
Past history now turned to leisure
The sun was now beating down on my head. I am not good in heat I think I am to Celtic for hot weather. I carried on through the dappled light and shade mostly shade. Back to Radyr Weir which was bubbling away.
Radyr Weir has been a managed site since at least Norman times when it was the site of a fish trap. The weir built-in 1774 supplied water to the Melingriffith Tin Plate Works. The works were powered exclusively by water. It is now called Radyr Weir Hydro. Generating energy from the river Taff. Two turbines called Archimedes screw turbines. Connected to local electricity distribution net work. They say electricity and water should never mix.
(Wasn’t Archimedes a Greek mathematician, engineer, inventor and astronomer? Well he is still alive in name only)
Could not resist the meadow again, so I walked through the meadow not around it. My fingers gently touched the ragged robin, buttercups, Michaelmas daisies. Ears lit up to bees busy buzzing, my eyes amazed by the many butterflies that floated by, even saw a black butterfly. Pure joy!!!!
I walked past the bridge which leads to Gelynis farm and carried on through a mystical path. Blue tits, nut hatches, duck giving swimming lessons to her chicks, wild garlic, cow parsley. I was so in the now. I breathed deep and became beautiful. Beautiful as in inner peace.