On a warm, humid morning six Wanderers met at Parc Slip to don their waterproofs ready for a short, 2.5 mile, Monday walk.
Setting off into the drizzle we crossed the road to enter the woodland, turning right almost immediately onto the “Bumblebee Trail” which took us gently downhill on a gravel path. The route eventually bore left into denser scrubland where the path proved quite muddy in places as it climbed gradually upwards. We halted several times to view an abundance of sloes which triggered visions of cold winter evenings fortified by glasses of homemade sloe gin!
Gaining the top of the slope we turned right onto a wide, tarmac path which led onto the boardwalk through a boggy area with the seemingly ubiquitous Himalayan balsam providing some colour amongst the trees. More tarmac took as past an impressive cast iron finger post after which we swung around left to enter the environs of the old Tondu iron works.
Rather unkempt now owing, presumably, to lack of finance the site of the blast furnaces and the almost pristine adjacent engine house nevertheless impressed. Descriptive plaques set out the history of the works and how it influenced the industry of the area. A couple of incongruous art works in the shape of giant, iron eggs gave rise to some wonderment.
Off then through the woods, circumnavigating a resource centre(?) and through a mountain-bike facility, until we found ourselves back on our original route at the iron finger post where we stopped for a welcome drink.
From there it was back up the slope, retracing our steps to where we joined the tarmac path then, passing a number of American red oak trees which are renowned for their vibrant autumn colour, we were back at the carpark.
A belated photocall, sadly missed by Sue, brought an entertaining walk to a close but the day hadn’t finished as it was back to the Ewenni Garden Centre for beverages and biscuits. Thanks to all my companions for an enjoyable outing.