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