Thursday, 24 January 2013

National Botanic Garden of Wales

If only you could trust weather forecasts, life would be much easier. There was a loose plan to walk on Friday as the forecast looked reasonable. Then it changed and Wednesday was forecast as "broken cloud" and Friday as rain. A quick phone call and arrangements changed. However I had not realised that "broken cloud" was Innuit for "deluge of snow"!! Other than a walk to fetch daily papers the walking plan was abandoned.

Thursday is usually my day for volunteering in the National Botanic Garden of Wales (NBGW), but clearly with snow still laying across the countryside I cried off work but decided instead to have a local walk which would include the NBGW and take some some snowy pictures.


I walked from Llanddarog to Porthyrhyd and then onto the NBGW.

 It was indeed a snowy scene and I walked on through the gardens  and spotted some local wild life

The NBGW have always recognised Alfred Wallace on equal terms with Darwin and from recent stories on the news Wallace's relevance with the theory of evolution is spreading.

My volunteering work includes with my colleague, John, the maintenance of the Willow Play Area.

.I then walked into the wooded area known as Pont Felin Gat.  I returned via the minor road and then onto the traffic free section of the bike route 47.

It was here I saw a rather wiggly cycle track and thought the rider may have had a slippery time.

But then I met the said cyclist coming back and we had a chat.  He regularly cycles from the village of Llanarthne to the post office in Porthyrhyd.  Whilst talking I noticed that the bike did not have the usual chain drive but a drive shaft.  I had not seen this before but the chap explained he had two such bikes and they needed little maintenance and no need for cycle clips! Such an arrangement is however very expensive.

A little further on I came across some animal prints which I assume belonged to a fox or the local yeti.

My wife met me as I neared Llanddarog and treated me to soup and a half of Felinfoel ale in the Butchers Arms where a roaring log fire soon warmed us up.  A good end to a walk - I wonder if "the navigator" could arrange similar endings to our walks.

Sunday, 13 January 2013


With The Navigator and his better half sunning themselves in Madeira and Paul otherwise engaged I went off for a walk by myself.

Just before Christmas I had bought the second volume of Alan Richards "Great Walks in Carmarthenshire" and decided on the Llangain walk.

If you have not heard of these books I highly recommend them whether you live locally or are just visiting. The routes are interesting and so well described a map is almost not needed. For the history buffs Alan adds some pages about the past times of the areas walked.  There were a surprising number of murders in this county.

The weather was somewhat misty not to mention my camera was playing up and hence only a few pictures. I will walk the route again and insert more photos in due course.

That part of the route which takes in Green Castle Woods I know well but the rest was all new to me despite being fairly local to this area.

There is some minor road walking but most is on green lanes and footpaths.  Those areas in the woods and across fields was somewhat squelchy not surprising bearing in mind the rain in recent weeks.

A lot of farms in Carmarthenshire and no doubt elsewhere rarely have their names displayed, but on occasions there are some  with attractive name plates.

As I walked under some power lines I could hear a conversation taking place but there did not appear to be anyone around until I looked up and two linesmen were halfway up a pylon carrying out maintenance work - rather them than me.

As i walked up the minor road from Brook towards Llangain I was suddenly joined by a boisterous brown labrador who seemed keen on walking with me. I had remembered passing a bungalow and holding on to his collar walked him back.  Thankfully it was his home.  The owner said he frequently escapes when someone is walking by!

I frequently pass by Llangain on the way to Llansteffan and had never been into the village and seen the local church, but Alan's route takes you past this old building before eventually leading you back through Green Castle Woods and the car.

I now look forward to walking more of Alan's routes.