Well what a walk and a half this turned out to be.Robert Thomas had really done his homework and deserved a gold star.
All along the route he pointed out places of real interest in and around the Burry Port area, giving us facts and figures, and giving us all a real insight into this interesting area.
Everyone was just so impressed with the work that Robert had put in to his preparation and the lovely variety of paths he had found for us.
Neil H, particularly commented that he knew Burry Port, but that this informative few hours, had really changed his opinion of the place.
The intention was for Robert (Grand Old Duke of Pemberton??!!) to march us up to the top of the hill--in this case Pembrey Mountain--and march us down again.
As it happened instead of ten thousand, Robert was relieved to find that a more manageable seven turned up for this walk so, Robert's Magnificent Seven, assembled in carnival mood, ready for this 9 miler.
We welcomed new member Sandra who had that overwhelming feeling we all get when being introduced to a new group of people but gradually she got a handle on our names and by the end, we all felt like old friends.
There was a fair and carnival being held in Burry Port so lots of people were around especially at the end of our walk when we returned to the harbour area.They had even erected a welcoming rainbow flag, especially for us??!!
We proceeded up the main street and turned off to find a monument to Amelia Earhart and heard how she had landed in Burry Port as the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean.
On we went through some lovely gardens complete with beautifully coloured, flowering borders, and made our way up through some stunning green paths and via an old industrial area, to Carmel Chapel where we had a short rest whilst being told about the Chapels history.
Onwards and upwards we went through a lovely wooded area by a river, making our way passed two wind turbines and starting to get some great views back down and over to North Gower and Whiteford and Rhossili.
Eventually we came to Pembrey Mountain a fantastic viewpoint where we could now see down to Kidwelly and over to Ffos Las racecourse and Robert said that the Presceli's could also be seen in the distance, though no-one offered to point out where that mountain range was exactly.
This turned out to be the lunch spot so we spread out using the picnic tables and benches and stayed a while enjoying our packed lunches.
Soon we were off again walking through a variety of terrains with woods, open greenery, a sort of nature reserve and waded through some fields absolutely full of grasses and vividly coloured wild flowers, all the time taking in the great views.
We came to a house with a walking path up the side that Robert and Derrick had "found" by walking down it from the other end.The lady of the house was outside and shovelling some wood chippings that she said she was going to use to lay on the path we were going to use as it was really overgrown and was in danger of disappearing completely.
This was quite a short sharp incline and we stopped a few times to catch our breath before eventually climbing to the top and crossing a lovely newish wooden bridge.
From then on thank goodness it was mainly downhill with a bit of road walking and little viewpoints where we could veer just off the road to take in the magnificent panoramic views of the Burry Port inlet and again across to Gower with its beautiful coastline and sandy beaches glinting in the sun.
At one of these viewpoints in a field, a herd of cows started to take an interest in us but just as Robert started to give us another of his interesting facts, they about turned and stampeded away, which did amuse us-- I wonder if they thought it was a load of old bull??!!
Anyway we know how to get rid of nuisance cows in the future, send Robert in, with a bunch of notes!!
We stopped at Court Farm an old derelict building that had lots of history and had had a grant to make it safe a few years ago.
We then called at St Illtyds church with its animal pound that we just had to try out for size and its memorial stone mentioning Napoleon Bonaparte.
We trekked through the golf course unharmed and headed for the sea getting to the Burry Inlet and we could see in the distance the harbour wih the lovely baby Lighthouse, which was going to be our journeys end.
We were now on the cycle track with a fresh wind blowing behind us and when we got nearer the beach, the sand was whipped up and blown in our faces.
After the nearby, still working, Parsons Pickles factory had been pointed out, and Robert told us where we could purchase a variety of the products they sold, the Lighthouse beckoned.
The sea was quite dramatic with really big waves crashing on the shore and lots of people had gathered around the harbour area.
At the start Robert had promised a certificate for anyone managing to last the distance, as this walk was slightly longer than normal.
As we now passed his car Robert magically produced a tray of mixed jars of seafood, made by the aforementioned Pickle factory, and generously gave us all a jar to sample at our leisure--what a very lovely kind thought we all agreed.
At this point Sandra and Liz made their farewells, Liz for the long drive home and Sandra, packing as much as she could into one day, to spruce herself up for an LGBT barbecue in Ammanford.
The rest of us strolled around to another small memorial plaque, right on the harbour to Amelia Earhart which also marked the end of the walk.
Many many thanks go to Robert for all his hard work in putting this walk together and for his extensive research providing us with such interesting information.
Thanks to the small but perfectly formed group who attended, and a special mention to Derrick for his loyal support as always.
He had done a recent reccie with Robert and helped him to beat back the overgrowth on the walkways, so that our path was less troubled on the day!!
Derrick also took on the role as my personal photographer, taking some really fabulous photo's for us (and of us) to mark a really lovely day out at Burry Port, an area we might just see in a different light in future.