The Salmon Leaps, 14th October

Lead: Phil

We met at WVH at 10.00am on a very special day for me, my first opportunity to lead Wick Wanderers.
Thanks to all who replied to my email, unfortunately a few could not make it, but it was great that Liz, Graham and Mary could join Claire and I, and two friends of ours, Tim and Kerry came along as well.
We started the walk at Dinas Powys golf club, but with a group of golfers about to tee off, the lively chat was curtailed for a moment whilst the first man took his shot. Quickly moving on I was glad that we had avoided those nasty glares, and tut’s that golfers are renowned for.
The weather was better than predicted, and very warm for the time of year. Tim wearing shorts, but unusually not Graham, to the likely disappointment of Liz and Mary, and possibly Claire!!
Moving on we walked downhill through the valley known as Cwm George and through a woodland of wonderful beech and sycamore trees. The woodland area now opening up and heading toward Michaelston-le-Pit, the sun was starting to make an appearance through the thin cloud. Graham’s gaiters then became the centrepiece of conversation, Mary quipping that she thought they were more suitable for Morris dancing. Graham explaining that was not the case, but with Port (red) and Starboard (green) ribbons they were very handy as sea. 
Swiftly moving on we were greeted by a couple walking their dog by a kissing gate. They were explaining that something had been renovated further along and that it was very exciting, the problem was we did not know what had been renovated. Claire commented that if it was an old farmhouse we wouldn’t be able to go in anyway due to our muddy boots. Confused we moved on, whereupon, the mystery was resolved. The Salmon Leaps had been restored to their former glory and cleared of silt and weed, and very spectacular as well, and better still, a chance for our first coffee stop. 
We continued along the Wrinstone brook, through the woods to the delightful house at Wrinstone Farm. The route now taking us up a fairly steepish hill, we stopped to enjoy great views toward the Bristol Channel, Graham pointing out Porlock and Minehead in the distance. We continued downhill now, deciding not to investigate a previously unchartered route. Liz deciding that we could investigate it and other possible routes on another day. Phew!!
I could now detect anxiety amongst the Wanderers, particularly with Liz and Graham, and possibly Claire. Lunch of course, a schoolboy error on my part, and a lack of detailed planning that previous leaders of Wick Wanderers pride themselves on, we quickly agreed to make our second stop at the bridge for lunch.
With spirits reinstated there was lively banter as we ate, Liz explaining that on a previous walk, her bag fell off the bridge and into the river, picturing the scene I knew with certainty that a gallant Wick Wanderer would no doubt come to Liz’s aid, but alas no, with a disgruntled Liz clambering down the bank and into the Cadoxton river to retrieve her lunch, and heaven knows what else unaided. I could tell that this episode in her life still rankles! 
Dinas Powys walk
As lunch continued and with all manner of sandwiches, pork pies, crisps, biscuits, chocolate and tea and coffee (and bananas!!) on display, I remember thinking it was just as well we had already burned off many thousands of calories. 
Now suitably fed and watered, we continued and approaching the last part of the walk noting that Graham had disappeared into the woods, no doubt to carry out a survey of local flora and fauna. We then dropped down into a valley, leading us back to Dinas Powys, we all agreed that it had been a great day out and said our farewells till next time.
I hope a few more can make the next walk. I think Liz will lead on Monday 23rd.