Thursday, 3 February 2011

Today's walk

Sunrise this morning.

I decided I needed a walk to blow away the cobwebs and did a 4 mile circuit along the valley bottom.

Recent higher water levels have jammed stones into the nooks and crannies at the river's edge.

I crept along a different bit of the river's edge, where I think a cottage may once have been squeezed in, high above the river, to get a view of a different stretch of the river.

Another different view, with a different pebble beach.

Moss-covered trees along the river bank.

The rough pasture of a neighbour's field lit up by the weak winter sun.

If you enlarge this you will just be able to make out the cream-coloured Italianate tower which is all that remains of Pantglas Hall.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz . . . Burp!

One or two Celendine leaves can just be picked out either side of the leaves of Shining Cranesbill.

This is the smallholding at the top of the hill. Fabulous views on a good day.

Back down the - steep - hill again.

These Snowdrops were planted at least 60 years ago, when the tiny cottage nearby was still standing.

The Dippers were busy along the river today. I saw four pairs and an odd one, but they were very alert and difficult to get photographs of. At times like this I wish I had a wonderful zoom lens.

My husband chopping up some firewood. This tree fell in a storm 4 or 5 years ago so is pretty well ready to use.

Of course, my four miles is just a hiccup compared with some of the marathon walks folks had no choice but to undertake in years gone by. I once did a 15 mile walk across Dartmoor - that's the furthest I've walked and across the most difficult terrain too. It pales into insignificance beside this effort of Thomas Jenkins, who lived in Llandeilo in Victorian times. This is Byron Rogers writing of our local ingenius hero:

"But the main impression is of one man walking. We forget just how much our ancestors walked before the railways came; they had to, on account of the stagecoach fares. In 1838 Jenkins earned 12 shillings a week but it would have cost him 2 shillings to make a 30-mile return journey by coach. And not only did our ancestors walk, they were prepared to turn night into day to do so.

"...May 3, 1836. Left Carmarthen for Haverford West at 15 minutes past 1 a.m. Got to Narberth at 8 a.m. and Haverford West at 12 noon..."

There followed a day of sightseeing with his uncle, this after walking 29 miles in less than eleven hours. The following day he returned, "feet sore, the weather being warm". It was not just the men who walked. At one point, Jenkins records that his wife left Llandeilo to walk to Carmarthen at 4 a.m., though she was pregnant at the time."

The rest of Byron Rogers' article can be read HERE.

As I said, my 4 mile walk was but a hiccup! More extracts from marathon walks tomorrow.


  1. Thanks for the virtual walk - but above all thanks for those snowdrops. It is blowing a really howling gale here and pouring with rain

  2. It is so nice to see "green" in your photos! Thank you for sharing!

  3. Another lovely walk. I would love to see a dipper again. I agree with you about moments when a zoom lens would be "Just the ticket".

    Four miles would be a long walk for me these days. Having older, stiffer dogs usually confine me to a quick walk around our hill.

  4. Enjoyed walking with you this morning, we walk each day and try to do a longer one on Sundays, weather permitting.

  5. I may have been gone from England for 50 odd years, but I can still pick out a lesser Celendine leaf. There was a time when I could name almost all the wild flowers and trees.

  6. I always enjoy your walks. Your photos and text make them very vivid. Being a rather clumsy sort I would have to remind myself that photo ops on a creek bank should be undertaken with great care!
    It is interesting to think that our generation walks by choice, choosing our routes and our weather, while for so many hundreds of years walking might have been the only option for those who didn't have a horse or pony.