Graham took the lead after we left Croes Antoni, where we had parked our cars. This is the route of the medieval Ffordd- y-Gyraith (see my previous reports or Google both Croes Antoni and F-y-G for interesting info). Neither Phil nor Claire had been across St Brides Common so we were pleased to show off our lovely area which was looking especially good with some fluffy clouds and blue sky and the sun even showing itself, a rare treat for these past few weeks.
We strode across the common, dipped down into Pant Mari Flanders, where we told the local history and also said plenty of “good mornings” to a large group of walkers going up the Pant. Phil recognised one of them from an encounter whilst dashing to the loo in Ewenny Garden Centre on their way to meet us. You can imagine that by the time Phil bumped into his new friend for the third time, near Southerndown, we had made plenty of jokes about it. ( No further info to be divulged here.)
Once we had gone past Portobello House and followed the sandy track towards Ogmore by Sea, we decided it was time for a coffee stop. Clearly the bench had been much used previously and those with shorter legs had to be helped back down to ground level. (no names divulged here either!). The lovely clean loos, award winners in 2011, were a good alternative to our usual bushes etc and by then we were set up for a good walk alongside the beach towards Southerndown. Hunger was setting in, although probably not for John who I think had done his usual and eaten his lunch at our coffee stop. We found a suitable bit of sloping ground with some nice rocky perches for our picnic, and also our photo. It is surprising what one can learn about people by going for a walk with them. Today’s gem, which I’ll leave you to work out, is : Who is unable to look a banana in the face?! …. and no, I am not telling!.
Well fortified, we climbed up the slope, whilst thinking how good it would be to sledge down it, (sea at the bottom…), and were soon saying goodbye to Carroll and Mary who wanted a slightly shorter route to the car. The rest of us walked down to Southerndown beach, on the now firm path and found the ice cream kiosk was open. We require good quality ice creams when out walking so were delighted when Graham spotted that alongside the usual stuff they actually sold some delicious tubs …the clotted cream and blackcurrant was delicious. From here we puffed (well I did) our way up through the woods, until we came out into some lovely wheat fields and were soon back by the Farmer’s Arms. Carroll and Mary were just passing so stopped for a quick chat, and those of us who rejected the offer for drivers to get a lift back to their cars, felt especially smug. The walk back through the village did not feel as bad as we had anticipated and we were soon back up by Croes Antoni and looking at the lovely view again.
I think we all really enjoyed the walk, a route most of us know well, but it did remind us of the lovely route possibilities we have around here, so thank you to Stephen for getting us back there.
We hope you can join us soon.