As we assembled in the car park of a well known supermarket in Pontardawe for some reason "every little helps" sprang to mind!!!
Actually in this case it was "a big help" as Gail had kindly stepped in and agreed to lead a summer walk for us when the planned walk (and leader) went awry.
From the parking area Gail pointed out an extremely high vantage point namely Alltwen Hill, telling the group thats where we were going.
Later on, someone commented that they thought that had been a joke as it seemed such a long way up!!
I did wonder if Gail had arranged a supermarket (trolley) sweep for us as she steered the group of five right up towards the supermarket entrance, but just at the last minute she veered off leading us over a well used, large, supposedly white, bridge over the River Tawe, though in reality it was a bit green with mossy tinges.
We were then on the cycle track still beside the fast flowing river and heading for Pontardawe.We detoured via an industrial estate just off the main street and around the edges of a park and continued on the cycle track through a wooded area and up to a newish housing estate at Alltwen.
As we passed one of the houses Gail pointed to a garage which had once held someones pride and joy but now all that could be seen was a dilapidated Vanden Plas car, peeping out and barely visible through overgrowth.She told us that on repeating this walk over time, she had seen the car disappear more and more into this "jungle" which was totally enveloping the garage and we just had to have a photo and wondered what the state of the car would be, when next we passed by.
Gail then led us up some steps and on a lovely old tarmac path up high, giving us great views back to Pontardawe.
We continued, crossing the main road and then on a beautiful woodland path which just seemed to go up and up, and even more up!!!
It was very humid in the greenery and we took our time climbing the steep ascent but it didn't seem that long before we were out in bracken on the top of Alltwen Hill and we came to a fantastic vantage point with some large boulders to stand on, where we seemed to be on top of the world and had some incredible views looking down and over the whole of Pontardawe and surrounding area.
We stopped a while for refreshments we'd brought whilst enjoying a lovely chit chat and setting this crazy, crazy world to right.
We continued on a level path on the top for a while and then along a bit of a stone track before starting our descent which was steady and not too steep.We then made our way through houses and down some steps and eventually came to a bridge over the road that took us back to the car park.
We were surprised to find we'd been walking for over 2 hours but it had been a lovely walk and just what was needed on a lovely summer evening.We had covered a variety of terrains and the views had been stunning.
Many thanks go to everyone from the small but perfectly formed group who came and supported this walk, and for the good conversation that made this a very enjoyable evening.
Thanks to Gail for choosing this walk in this particular area, that some of the group didn't know very well, opening up a new area for them.