Exploring the hinterland of Blaenau Gwent...

By GEM Community Correspondent in Local People


Perhaps it was the forecast heavy showers that put people off, as only three walkers turned out to join Rachel from Penarth and District Ramblers on a walk in the Abercarn area, where it in fact turned out to be dry and sunny.

From below the derelict outline of St Luke’s Church, set on the hillside above Twyn Road, a climb through houses led onto narrow paths above Cwm Gwyddon.

They went uphill through fields before the reward of brilliant views towards Newbridge and Crumlin.

Passing beautiful gnarled and misshapen beech trees forming an archway, boggy fields led to Forestry Commission land above the top end of Cwm Gwyddon and a pause for morning coffee.

Wide forest tracks led on to the entrance to Mynydd Maen Common where the moorland was boggy underfoot after heavy rain.

Crossing a recently scarred and churned up area, caused by off-road motor cycles, a rough track with grand views of the line of pylons which cross Mynydd Twyn-glas led them into a slight head-wind, but with the first view of Twmbarlwm to the south.

Turning southwest and following muddy tracks above the forestry plantations of Craig Furnace and Twyn Llysganol, with an eerie mist creeping out across the paths in front of the group, a gateway led to a lunch break in the shelter of a drystone wall.

Then continuing along slippery leaf-covered paths at Cefn Rhyswg and steeply descending through woodland at Cefn Gofapi, the main forest track at Coed y Rhiw led them onwards to cross the Nant Gwyddon and, after another steep climb, quiet lanes led back to their start.

On February 11, meet 9am at Cogan Leisure Centre for an eight-mile moderate walk taking in the hill forts of Mynydd Margam; contact Geraint on 029 2051 5278.

On February 12, meet 9am at Cogan for a six-mile moderate walk at Craig yr Allt; contact Jan/John on 01446 418514.

On February 15, the mid-week walk will leave Cogan at 8am for a 12-mile hard walk on the hillsides around Talybont reservoir; contact William on 07528 701952.

Wear suitable clothing, preferably boots and carry waterproofs, food and drinks. Some degree of fitness is required and if you are in any doubt, then please contact the walk leader for advice. Programmes and membership advice can be obtained from Pam on 029 2025 5102.

Joy Strangward

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