Sunday, 2 February 2014

St David's: January 2014: Part 3

With the promise of some decent weather we headed for the Gwaun Valley and the Prescelli Hills. The Gwaun Valley is a favourite spot of ours and we are getting to know it quite well. Apart from its natural charms, the valley has a very special custom - it still observes the Julian calendar when it comes to celebrating New Year. To the locals, New Year's Day, or Hen Galan, is 13th January. It's a day spent in community celebration - and it's a day off school for the children in the local primary school. Our walk started in the valley and took us up onto Mynydd Carningli. The guidebook said it was 'strenuous' and in that it was accurate - a challenging 6 miles but we did it! And happy about we were too.

For the culinary record, I should add that we partook of tea at the Melyn Tregwynt near Abermawr. The food was OK but the welcome was not very, mmmm, welcoming. I don't think we'll be returning.

A quick turnaround when we got back and it was off to the Cathedral for our fix of Choral Evensong. To our surprise we were treated to the full pomp and ceremony of a Candlemass Service and Procession, with the Bishop of Wales, Wynn Davies, in attendance. As ever, fantastic singing from the cathedral choir. One soprano in particular has an ethereal, soaring voice which is a bit of a surprise as she is the smallest in the ensemble. Small in stature maybe but large of voice. Another great evening of music. Only one more to go for this break - boo hoo!
The walk begins with a stream.................
We came up a very steep climb from the right and went to the left. Our path is visible just to the top of the sign.
I woz yer with my size 10s. Well, one of them: I hopped around to make it more challenging.
Panoramic views all the way around. This is the view from Mynydd Caregog down to the coast and Newport Sands.
A Bronze Age hut circle just in front of the burial cairn on top of  Carn Llwyd. The cairn is also Bronze Age but the triangular bit is not part of the original. It's a pile placed there by walkers and which is regularly removed by Rangers from the National Park Authority. Somewhere underneath all of the stones would have been the bones of someone important.
Walking along the track towards the rocks of Mynydd Carningli. The rocks were incorporated into a substantial Bronze Age hill fort. The weather was closing in as we walked along this ridge, with a few snowflakes to add variety to the driving rain and wind. Strange to think that the stones of Stonehenge came from these hills.
All the weather was coming from the west and, with Carn Edwards to the right, we walked towards a relatively blue sky and no rain.
This is how a lady appears after a long and muddy walk.
And this how a mucky b*gger like me ends up - always, without exception - even when we've been walking on dry roads. It's just another unique talent I have.
.........and ends with a (different) stream.

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