Monday, 26 August 2013

St Davids Circular

We had a visitor from Canada staying with us recently and we planned to show her the delights of West Wales and today it was to be the coast path from Caerfai Bay to Porth Clais and up to the City of St Davids.


This is one of our favourite short walks and we were keen to show it to Sue. She lives on Mayne Island which lies between Vancouver Island and the mainland. She told us the coast line there is much different.
We had the bonus of good weather!

View from path above Caerfai

We saw a number of groups enjoying,coasteering climbing and kayaking and of course fellow walkers.

At St Non's Well, apparently a cure all, there was a group of people holding a religious meeting and a laying on of hands.  Lets hope it worked for them, but it never restored my hair.

It seems that we hear a lot about young children not being allowed out to play and we saw an example of this at Porthclais where some mothers were continually shouting at their children who were trying to enjoy themselves paddling in the water. The mothers seemed more interested in gossiping and not helping the children enjoy a day at the seaside. Move on Andrews!!!

descending to Porthclais


Anyway Sue had a paddle and we walked up the estuary for a cup of tea before continuing on to the City of St Davids.  We had a look at the Cathedral and some shopping to include a huge ice cream, before heading home via Morrisons to buy some quick nosh for a meal at home.

St David's cathedral

Ladies who walk

Sue enjoys cooking and caters for parties etc. Amazing what one can do with a chicken and salad followed by peaches in Grand Marnier

Friday, 9 August 2013

Trallong near Brecon

Mrs "Navigator" is a jazz fan and a regular at the Brecon Jazz Festival. Her accommodation is a large family tent which for the last few years I have travelled to Brecon to help put  up - "The Navigator" takes more of a management role!

To make the most of the day we naturally combine the tent erection with a walk, enter "The Navigator".

We had a new guest today, my neighbour Paul. Two cars were necessary mainly to leave one at Brecon but also to fill it to the brim with camping equipment, no lightweight genre here.

The walk started near the hamlet of Trallong and then north into the low hills.


Navigator managing gate closure
There were good views of the surrounding area including further south of the Brecon Beacons and the well known silhouette of Corn Ddu and Pen y Fan and to the west Carmarthen Fans

Watching us have lunch

We followed the path inside the open access land and then dropped down to Trawscoed farm. Lack of signposting gave a little problem as did the walk through the farmyard with 3 free running collies.  Thankfully  their bark was worse than their bite.

Paul trespassing

Once back on the path it was easy walking to Maesllwydiart Uchaf where we met up with a large flock of sheep corralled in the yard.

We joined the road and walked back to the car and then off to Priory Mill campsite where the tent was soon erected.

I trust "Mrs Navigator" enjoys the jazz - what goes on at a festival stays at the festival.

Scleddau, Trecwn, Llanychaer

The "Navigator" was back from the Austrian mountains and ready to explore West Wales again. The forecast was grim for Monday morning but clearing after lunch and into the evening. The plan was lunch at the "Navigator,s" and then the walk.

As we drove towards Scleddau the rain eased and off we went following the path past a sad unloved church which nature was doing its best to cover.

Nature taking over

The route took us to Trecwn an ex MOD base. It is now in private hands with numerous "private" signs. What are they hiding? Thankfully we did not meet any scary men in black and carried on our way.


Near Trecwn

First view of sea

Found, one boot

Llanychaer in the Gwaun valley was the next destination with a pleasant riverside walk. Up to now the paths were clear and fairly well signposted.

Afon Gwaun

Footbridge over Gwaun

Curious youngsters
 This was about to change. The waymarked stile gave us confidence, but there was no note suggesting that walkers would be advised to carry a machete! This short path was totally overgrown with brambles and the like. By the time we realized this was stupid we were halfway through and it would be just as painful to carry on as go back. With some relief daylight appeared with a nice grass covered path by a property known as Llanwern and where the map indicated a path we required. Once again the reality did not match the map.


A well maintained path

We followed another path which matched the map and which led us back to Scleddau.

No doubt the " Navigator" will remind readers that it was my choice to take the route which led to the battle ground mentioned above, mea culpa!

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Ramsey Island

My good buddy, Merv. reached his 60th in July and as a present we bought him (and me) a trip to Ramsey Island in Pembrokeshire. This trip included a guided walk by the resident RSPB warden taking up the morning and then free time in the afternoon.

The forecast was looking good and a phone call on the day before confirmed, as of then, that the trip was on.

The boat leaves from St Justinians and with limited parking we arrived in good time and with a full complement we set off at 0930.

Ramsey Sound has a deserved reputation for being a dangerous stretch of water for the unwary, but the boat crew are all volunteers on the local RNLI boat and know the waters well. One odd instruction we had to obey was to show the crew member, by positively rummaging in our bags to check we had no mice or rats hiding therein! The reason for this is that Ramsey Island is now a rat free area after a determined effort to eradicate them. The result of this is an increasing population of ground breeding birds.

Once on the island we met with the warden, Lisa and off we set. It was explained that most of the sea birds had now left the islands but there would be other species to see, hopefully.

The first spotting was a little owl which hunts during the day. Here on Ramsey it likes to spend time on the numerous dry stone walls and that was where it was seen.

The most common animal we saw was the rabbit. There are hundreds,  their ancestors being introduced a long time ago. There are no ground predators with only gulls and the like bring of danger. We did see an albino rabbit and it seems it has survived as the birds probably think it`s a stone!

Lisa was hoping to show us a very early seal pup, the first born this season, but although the mother was visible the pup was probably hidden inside the cave. Lisa went on to to tell us a lot about the seal population and the importance of Ramsey to the breed. Throughout the morning we saw lots of seals that were congregating at the various beaches.

Another unusual spotting were a couple of red deer stays. Lisa had to point these out as they were lieing in the bracket with just the tips of their antlers on view. Lisa also pointed out the rare Golden Hair lichen below

Golden Hair

You might see the stags

There were 3 stags and about 7 hinds left over from those imported by the previous owner of the island. Merv and I were lucky to see the stags standing up later in the day.

We also saw some peregrines, choughs and kestrels.

The walk finished back at the farm house where we ate our sandwiches and then had some free time to explore other parts of the island before catching the return ferry.

Man pose

An enjoyable day finished off with a pint and a meal in the Farmers Arms.