Some projects take longer to come to fruition than others and such was the case with this event which had been in the planning stage for over a year.
This walk at Penllergare Valley Woods had been scheduled for August 2015 but as Russ and I stood at the meeting place last year we both had all fingers and toes crossed hoping just for once, that no-one would turn up, as we watching the rain crashing down and bouncing up to almost waist height!!!Luckily no-one came so he agreed to do the walk as a summer stroll this year.
Russ, not exactly still in his hospital gown, but having had a very recent minor operation--perhaps he wouldn't agree with the word minor??!!--was determined to lead this one, which turned into a lovely summer evening wander around a beautiful hidden gem.
Russ even had the most support of the evening walks held this year, with 9 turning up to explore these lovely woods.
2 new women members joined us, Janice and Michele and they were given a good welcome by Russ and the assembled group.
Gail pointed out that the women outnumbered the men by 2 to 1, so that was cause for celebration.
We started off through a landscaped windy path through the trees, complete with a small wooden bridge and some steps, and then joined one of the many wider forestry paths.We then came to a lovely grassy path high up where we stopped for a bit of local history from Russ and where we could just see through the thick greenery, the lake and waterfall below.
We descended down the grassy bank to wind around to the river flowing through, and crossed over the narrow wooden Collodion Bridge.Here I pointed out a very overgrown area where Russ and I had got more than a bit lost when we'd done the reccie for this walk.
We carried on, on a wider path to the lower lake which had some lovely plants including some water lillies that had just bloomed.
We then retraced our steps and turned laft onto the Carriage Drive, passing a quarry and onto the top of a stone bridge, a great viewpoint where we could look down onto the waterfall area and over to the path we had started out on, across the water.
Russ then took us out of the gardens and passed the old council offices to the newly renovated Observatory where the first photo's of the moon were taken.
Back into the woods we went, and down the numerous steps and through the Terrace Gardens which are in the process of being restored.
We veered off towards the waterfall area and then over the recently restored Llewelyn Bridge to the other side of the wter and viewed the Archimedes screw which generates all the electricity used in the cafe there.
Retracing our steps again we came to the Upper Lake which has been dredged in recent years to return it to its historic shpe and to stop it reverting to marshland.
We then strolled back to the cars all agreeing that this had been an excellent walk and well worth the year long wait!!
Some of the group just didn't realise the interesting sights/sites and delights to be had at Junction 47 of the M4!!
The new members Janice and Michele really enjoyed and blended in immediately and promised to come again soon.
We thanked Russ for a splendid evening walk and made our ways to our waiting cars.
Was that Russ limping towards his chauffeur driven one--ie Don!!--with maybe just a hand on his war wound too??!!