Here we are on yet another bank holiday and it’s the beginning of May already. The last week has been very busy leading up to the weekend and we were lucky to get the weekend off, well the Saturday and Sunday at least.

Our days off seem to fly by, we have so many things to do but at the same time just want to chill out so it’s finding a happy balance. We really need to retire but that’s not going to happen unfortunately.

Last week I managed to get out on my bike for a 32 mile ride which took me all along the estuary from Gowerton to Pembrey and back. I much preferred the bike park type of riding but my fitness is not up to that yet so these ride outs are getting me there.

The route is made up of a small piece of road and then a cycle track called the millennium way, mostly flat with only small uphill sections. The scenery is great because you’re along side the estuary for most of it.

Got there, just got to get back now

Going towards Pembrey was loverly with the slight wind behind me but when it was time to come back the wind was against me, only a slight wind but it slowed me up and as I had already ridden 16 miles to get there the ride back was slower but I survived, although my legs would tell you different at the time.

Being our day off yesterday we decided to get out and about. We don’t like going out and about on a bank holiday because everyone else is out and about but we don’t like to stay on site all day either. Today was forecast rain and yes they got that right.

So decided to go to Penllergare valley woods for a walk. it’s just off the M4 at junction 47. It’s an old Victorian estate, home of the late John Dillwyn LLewegyn. It comprises of over 100 hectares of mixed woodland trees, two lakes and seven miles of woodland walks.

It’s run by mostly volunteers with a small team of full time staff. The land was slowly getting eaten up with development etc until a trust was set up to save it. It’s free to walk around but you can make a donation if you wish which all goes to help maintain and support this fantastic place. You pay for parking which is only £2 for the day. There is a small cafe again run by the volunteers. They serve hot drinks and some very nice cake. After our walk we had to sample some, just so we could tell other people how good it was.

Viewing point

We parked up and started our walk with no plan of direction. The part we started on was called the carriageway and you could just imagine the old horse and carriage bouncing along this route. Off to the left and right were smaller trails but we resisted these for a while until we just had to turn off and find out where one went.

Bluebell wood

As we rounded the corner we saw a huge big carpet of Bluebells, we had reached a part called Bluebell wood. I must say that by this point we had been walking for about half an hour and not seen a soul which made it even nicer. All you could hear was birds singing and the occasional bee looking to pollenate some flowers.

Nobody around

We came across a loverly old stone bridge and again you could imagine the old horse and carriage going across it. And to think this would all be someone’s garden.

Loverly old stone bridge

We then found a small little track and decided to find out where we would be taken if we followed it. We were not disappointed when we came to the end of it with a view over the lake and again nobody around so we sat down and enjoyed the view and peace and quiet. We saw fish jump out the water and heard a green woodpecker in the distance and a lonely duck came to see if we had any food and then realised we didn’t have any so he went off looking for other people with food.

Lake view

We could have sat there all day if we had some food but we were getting hungry or should I say I was getting hungry so it was time to carry on down the next trail we found which led us to a loverly waterfall. Not a lot of water coming down it but enough to make it look nice. As we left we saw another couple going the other way towards the waterfall.

Another peaceful moment

We got lost after leaving the waterfall, well not really lost we just went a different way looking for the cafe. Only a small detour and we found the carpark and cafe. We had only walked about two miles but it was so nice and peaceful, you would never think you were so close to the M4 motorway. A hot chocolate and carrot cake for me and for Nikki a coffee and lemon cake. Not a crumb left on the plates.

We left there and had to go to Tesco (other supermarkets are available) on the way back to base to get some more food. A chill out evening with a beer or two sat in our garden and a nice steak.

Nature and Nurture