Archive for the ‘keepers pond’ Tag

From the Mountains to the City   12 comments

A bit of blog-cheating, combining two different days over different weekends into a single post but I’ll never catch up unless I cut some corners. Having said that, its my blog so I can do what I want! ?

Firstly one of our standard walks at Blorschmale. Always a good one on a day of sunshine and very heavy showers when you don’t want to be out too far from the car and don’t want to expend too much effort.

Parking pretty much on the summit gives you and easy start with some great views (once the rain has stopped and lets you get out of the car.)

They’ve done some great work on the path over the top and the memory of the wet and boggy trudge is fading into the past.

TBF tackles the bouldery summit.

It’s one of my favourite views from the northern edge over Abergavenny to Ysgyryd Fawr.

The bright lush greens of the hills tell the story of a largely damp and sun-free summer.

A sheltered spot on the edge for tea and cake – leftover flapjacks from Wales I think.

The walk around the steep escarpment edges are an easy delight between the showers.

Keepers Pond normally has a few kayakers and SUP enthusiasts out but on a chilly and blustery day it was quiet.

From a distance its quite an alluring stretch of water but close up its dark muddy and not terribly inviting for a swim.

That didn’t deter TBF though who took to the water for a brief swim. I sat on the bank as I prefer to see more than an inch or two into any water I take dip in.

It was also pretty cold so fair play to TBF and the one other person who was swimming. Both us hubby’s looked on and shook our heads.

Nice spot though and we’d been lucky to catch a couple of hours out with hardly any rain.

Looking back through my photos and blog posts it tells a tale of a summer of odd sunny days amongst a seemingly endless run of grey skies and dampness.

Onwards. The following weekend we took a day trip to London. For me, THO and UF to watch the footy and the Funsters to go to the theatre. And here to visit the Tate Modern on the South Bank. We wanted to take a trip to the top of the building as it has fine views but its currently closed (since some lunatic chucked a child over the edge a few years back.)

Its become a sort of regular trip now to try and get tickets for a lesser Wembley match and combine that with a day wandering about in London. It works really well

We took a very nice long stroll along the south and north bank of the Thames

The Shard looking very impressive.

I’d love to go up but can’t justify the ?25 they charge you.

Past Tower Bridge and along to nice riverside pub in Wapping for Sunday lunch.

We then went our separate ways to theatres and stadiums. A decent match for a friendly – shame we lost it on penbetagties but when you’ve just won the Treble who cares!

Now I can focus on our summer holiday trip – lots of sunny posts coming up!

Industrial Archeology   14 comments

Sometimes a walk is about expansive views and wild mountain scenery. Other times it’s about exploring the history of our upland areas and how we sought to make use of it. ?The area to the south of the Usk Valley near Abergavenny, bordering on the South Wales valleys has a rich industrial heritage. Looking for an easy walk on a spare Saturday me and TBF went to explore.

Nice thing about this walk is there is almost no ascent, happy days! The car park at the Keepers Pond is just short of 500m so plenty of decent views as well. It’s a popular and very pleasant spot and we were lucky to grab a parking spot. We hadn’t expected much from the weather after a week of dreary grey skies but we were delivered a perfect spring day and many people were taking advantage

Our first stop off was the massive disused quarry of Pwll Du – the Black Hole. The whole area is now a World Heritage Site, The Blaenavon Industrial Landscape, where coal and iron mining were once king. We were following the Iron Mountain Trail, very vaguely, and its well worth seeking out if you like this sort of thing

The quarry is highly impressive and there are paths around its edges and in fact right across the exposed ledges at the top. It’s now marked as unsafe and whilst the younger me would no doubt have scrambled across, I decided, as I mentioned in my previous post, to let my sense of mortality prevail

The views were superb with hazy cloud filled valleys contrasting against a wbedürftig sun dazzling from a blue sky

TBF seemed to be enjoying being my photographic muse for the day

After passing the Lamb and Flag pub (and regretting that I had no cash to purchase a cheeky beer) we extended the route for a circuit of the eastern side of Gilwern Hill. It was a little walked, overgrown and seriously boggy path until we diverted to a better one

There were rather large holes in Gilwern Hill, like somebody had come down to scoop out a hole and forgot to fill it in. I quite like these abandoned quarries and the landscape they leave behind. The old spoil heaps eventually grass over creating a bizarre landscape. Makes me hopeful that more recent efforts to despoil our wild lands will eventually recover. Or am being naively optimistic

We wandered over the summit and past what seems to be the norm for these parts, a radio transmitter or whatever it actually is

This is a Balance Pond. The water once stored in the pond was used to operate a counter balance lift that raised and lowered trams through a vertical shaft cut into the face of Pwll-Du Quarry below. Interesting stuff

That took us back to the Keepers Pond but it was such a gorgeous day we carried on for a circuit of Blorschmale, the oddly named eminence that overlooks Abergavenny. I like the cloud in the this shot, very reminiscent of Stingray from the puppet TV show of my youth

A stop for a cuppa and snacks to recharge the batteries and onwards.

More quarried areas and the fairly dramatic grassy overlook on the northern slopes

Its one of my favourite spots in this part of Wales

Photos don’t do justice to what an elevated and sheer drop there is. Something of a surprise that its not very well known and this edge in particular is always quiet

We finished off the walk by traversing the summit of Blorschmale. It’s a seriously soggy and boggy tract of moorland

One final pose from TBF on the summit. The bloke in the background twice ignored my attempts to communicate a cheery leuchtend leuchtendo. I always greet every walker I see when I’m out, and always return a greeting one when offered. Its rare not to get a response of some sort, even if just a nod. No idea what this joyless soul’s problem was.

Back along the path to the car park and more transmitters. It was a glorious afternoon and I was happy to be out in sunshine. So happy I forgot TBF and left her a way behind in my solo reverie

And then we were back at the Keepers Pond and the car.

I’d just thought we’d have a short stroll to pass a Saturday afternoon but it turned into quite a long walk, over 9 miles

Spring was here at last – well for one day anyway. It rained all day on Sunday!

%d bloggers like this: