Tuesday, 21 August 2012


Living down West I have had many journeys up and down the M4 and have often thought about the hills which overlook Port Talbot: clearly, I must have mentioned this to the "Navigator",  as this week's walk was to have an "adventure' in this very area.  Now, the word "adventure" usually means a machete would be a useful tool and just because paths are shown on the OS maps does not mean they are in fact visible.

Here is the Route (click) as far as I can recall as there was a certain amount faffing about.

We parked up just outside Jersey Park. We had a pleasant walk through the park down to the main road to make use of our bus passes for a ride to Port Talbot bus station.

As one would expect the "Navigator" had a few problems getting from the station to the start of the walk proper:  to be fair my limited skills fall down badly in built up areas.

We were just about to take to a riverside path when we met a chap walking two springers.  This was fatal as Mr and Mrs Navigator also own one and notes were compared.  Luckily the chap told us that the riverside path we were about to take had some construction work taking place and suggested an alternative which he kindly guided us to.

It was now past elevenses time and we found a view point overlooking a weir on the river, where I picked up a little friend.

Although not shown on our OS maps there is now a cycle path which takes you all the way to Afon Argoed Country Park which is  something I have filed away for future reference.

For the next hour there was a fair amount of faffing when published paths failed to make an appearance just south of Cwmafon.  Were we down hearted?  YES!

On regrouping we took the path towards Nant y Glais.  At a farm gate there was note warning locals that anyone found shooting etc without permission would be sued and that they were not entering a country park!  There were way mark signs so we continued . At the farm we met with the owners who explained they had had major problems with some individuals culminating in one of their horses being shot.

Just after the farm we stopped for lunch.

Our next objective was the lower slopes of Twyn Dinas  where we had  excellent views overlooking the coast. It was surprising that up here there were signs for the Wales Coastal Path.  The heather along the path was blooming.

We then headed down to Blaen Baglan and turned north east on the minor road and then into the woods at a farm shown as Bwlch. 

The forestry tracks led us back to the car.  Another triumph (of sorts) for the Navigator. 

Friday, 10 August 2012


Today's walk was really an aside to helping Janice (Mrs Navigator) erect her huge tent for her stay in Brecon to visit the jazz festival.

However The Navigator thought it would be useful to aid my rehab. if we made best use of the day and have a walk with some up and of course down.

Here is the  Route (click).

We parked in the public car park in Sennybridge, crossed the A40 and over Pont Llwyncyntefin. Quite some time ago I used to kayak from near here and paddle over the three weirs.

There is a riverside footpath here heading upstream which leads to a minor road.  Near Beili Bedw we took the green lane - wet in places..  This lane took us back to the A40 where we had to walk for a short time before crossing over and heading for Pontysgallog. We now had about 1.5 of road walking, but it was reasonably free of traffic..

At Nantyrharn we took the bridleway which takes a north easterly route up onto Forest Fach and then to the trig point 381.

We did stop for lunch just after Nantyrharn.  There were some good views of the Brecon Beacons from the central ones, where no doubt on this fine day there were probably loads of walkers and then over to the westerly beacons.

We left the trig point and headed down via the track shown to the left of the disused quarry.  On the way views of Sennybridge appeared.

When we reached the minor road we turned right and at Trephillip Bridge took the footpath upstream on the Afon Senni back to to the car. There was an amusing sign in the river.

It had been a good walk if not a little on the hot side (musn't grumble!)

The next task awaited us just outside Brecon town where Janice's home from home was erected without much trouble.  This is camping but not as I know it! Palatial and a a Z bed which makes a neoair look like a board.

The Navigator and I headed back west leaving Janice to hopefully have a "cool" weekend

Monday, 6 August 2012


Continuing my rehabilitation following my knee operation today's walk was to be longer and include some rougher ground. The plan was to catch a bus to Llansaint and walk back to Carmarthen using the Wales Coastal Path.

Route (click)

We parked our cars in Morrisons and caught the 0923 bus to Llanelli which went via Llansaint - a free ride courtesy of our bus passes.

This route would all be new to me as I had never been to Llansaint before and had not walked on this side of the Tywi estuary either.

The village of Llansaint put me in my mind of a small Cornish fisherman's village with narrow streets and cwtched in around the church. The history board shows the village was famous for its cockle women despite it being on a hill and a fair way to the sea.

A potted history can be found on the link below.

Llansaint (Click)

We were on the look out for the Wales Coast Path logo, which on the whole were visible on the route but with a number of annoying omissions.

Our first stretch took us along a path leading to Pengay Farm which had an impressive bell in the courtyard gateway - mention of this in the wiki notes above.

Looking out to sea we had views of the Gower and Worm's Head and carried on along footpaths which lead into a hidden valley and then on to Ferryside  and its beach.

Ferryside (Click)

In days gone by one could catch a ferry to Llansteffan on the other side of the estuary where there are fine remains of a castle.

In Ferryside there is a wooden carving celebrating those who fished using a seine net.

Our walk continued along a quiet lane and footpath to join another lane near Cwmburry.  This lane was followed  to the ruined farm of Pentrecwm and into the woods where the map shows "Hydraulic Ram". This was either some experiment to do with sheep or more likely water, but we did not see it.

On we went through Towy Castle now a care home and no evidence of a castle.  There were some expensive cars in the car park and if belonging to the owners I cannot see my sons placing me here!

At the end of the footpaths we came across the most attractive style I have seen, probably because it leads into a garden, but it is the path.

We came across a place name and an adjacent warning sign which made me chuckle.

More footpaths, some quite muddy, led us to a green lane  and eventually to a minor road which led us to Croesyceilog and then back to our cars on the outskirts of Carmarthen.

Not a bad test for the knee as the distance was about 10 miles and the ground was quite rough in places with some ups and downs.  We are off to Brecon area on Thursday for further testing!