March – in like a lion and out like a lamb – is that the saying? Anyway this time last year we were at the same site we are at now – Aberbran and we caught in the Beast from the East (part II). It’s a short hop of about 1.5hrs from home so easy to get a weekend away – and boy do we need it! Hectic work and lots of other social gatherings getting in the way – but we are now out in Hilma and enjoying the relaxation. Collapsing on arrival we soon found we needed to ‘take the Welsh air’ (despite them beating us at rugby) and found a delightful little 2 miler close to the River Usk. Hell, it does the soul good to walk in the countryside (makes mental note to do more of it this year). Tomorrow we will do a longer walk but keep in mind we are here to relax – it’s great to be out in Hilma again 🙂
March 24th, 2019 – today we are going to finish a walk we tried here last time and we unfortunately ran out of time to complete it. A 7 miler along high open moorland. The morning dawned with the sun blazing into Hilma at 6:15am – I was tempted to get up, but that didn’t last long as I drifted off to a well deserved sleep for the next 2 hrs!
Breakfast done and off we set – the site here is an old railway station – long and narrow, probably takes about 20 vans at the most and at this time of the year there are only 4 of us on the site – bliss (the weather helps).
Climbing up the gentle slopes on our way to the heathland we look back and are rewarded with a fantastic view of Pen-y-Fan and Corn Du in the distance – somewhat hazy but with the binoculars trained on the tops we could see people already there. As we climbed higher we were rewarded with views of Buzzards and Red Kite’s galore, a Yellowhammer, Skylarks, Meadow Pippits and a recent arrival – the beautiful Wheatear (female). The heathland is a perfect habitat for all these birds – it makes the heart sing! As we had lunch we were greeted by some of the more inquisitive sheep that perhaps had not had their lambs yet or are barren. We went a little off piste after lunch and decided to head down into the valley towards a hamlet called Soar – and we are glad we did. Picking our way through an old farm full of the usual muck we were rewarded by entering a fantastic old oak wood – these were very tall and thin so must be a particular species (need to find out) – Nuthatch territory and we son found one.
Moving out of our enchanted wood full of thin ‘Ents’ we crossed an old ford, up to a lane to take us back to the road through Soar. A pretty little hamlet with about 6 or 7 houses (not all occupied) – one could easily see the appeal of a holiday home or somewhere to retire.
And so our 7 mile walk ended the same way it started – in sunshine – feet up with a coffee and whisky me thinks! (maybe a snooze as well).