Tuesday, April 5

Hidden delights of south Wales

After a couple of weeks of indecision as to whether I could spare the time away from my freelance project, I finally cracked and headed off to Bridgend for a night with my friend Gareth. I'm so glad I did!

He's staying in a lovely cottage just a mile or so from the 'Glamorgan Heritage Coast' to work on a personal photography project and I piggybacked his hols for a night away and the chance to catch up.

Early Sunday morning, even with my crashing hangover Paddington Station's art deco offices looked glorious - it's amazing what you see when you glance up from the grimy pavements.

A few hours later we were enjoying lunch in the Ogmore Tea Rooms before heading off for a 7 mile walk in glorious sunshine, across the hills to St Brides Major and down to Dunraven Beach.

I'd never heard of the beauty of this particular stretch of coastline until today, but as you can see, it didn't disappoint.

The cottage was a lovely place to hang out, surrounded by chickens, horses and sheep with their cute offspring. Meet your future socks!

That's the cottage on the left; the photo is taken from the grounds of the ruined castle, and you can just see the Stepping Stones of Doom on the right hand side, they are covered with water when the tide comes in. I call them the Stepping Stones of Doom because I am not good with stepping stones. To be fair, any stepping stones are the stepping stones of doom.

There are 52 of them and I got stuck at about number 26. My legs didn't want to go anywhere. Luckily Gaz was behind me goading me on and a family with a small child was waiting to cross from the other side, so I had to continue. Eugh, what's wrong with a bridge I say, even a nice wobbly one?!

Yesterday was colder and a bit gloomy so we toured a couple of the valleys to do some research for G's project. It's a strange place - dramatic hills with winding roads and glorious views, brought down to earth by rows and rows of tiny stone-clad houses, intense deprivation and a strangely oppressive air. The past few years of exploring south Wales have lent me a new appreciation of its charms, hidden as they may be.

The last picture is taken from the viewpoint at the head of the Rhondda Valley: a steep and hairpin ascent from Ogmore Vale, over Craig Ogwr and then down the other side towards Treorchy.


1 comment:

colleen said...

Looks beautiful. I was amazed at how lovely South Wales was when I visited a couple of years ago. Can manage stepping stones - my horror is really steep hills that go round bends. Completely lost my nerve at one point with car rolling backwards and me too incompetent to re-start and move forward... I could hear the sheep laughing, I think.