Helen (heleninwales) wrote,

Next time we'll check the aerial photo first...

Last Wednesday we walked up from Ganllwyd, following the forestry tracks that ran in approximately the same direction as the Afon Gamlan until we reached the open mountain. The first part of the walk was easy. Just a long plod up the forestry track.

Road to quarry

The old conifers are being cleared and new broadleaved trees are being planted.

Clearing trees

The little peak in the distance is Rhobell y Big. We climbed it last April on a day with much better weather.

Distant peak

This was the little slate mine we had come to see, though there were also interesting and different rocks along the route to the mine and these will be described in the geology book.

Slate mine

There were several footpaths clearly marked on the map that no longer exist on the ground. G had planned a circular walk but we were thwarted over in that distant wood you can see in the photo below. After leaving the mine and floundering across a mile or so of very rough and boggy moorland, with no sign of a path, we reached stile over the wall into the wood, so we had clearly been following more or less the right line. We then managed to follow the path for a few yards, but fallen trees and new saplings had obliterated the path completely. Trying to force a way through would have been impossible. We struggled our way out of the wood whereupon I spotted a footbridge in the distance and suggested that footbridge meant path and perhaps we could cross the river via the bridge and make our way back uphill to the track we had followed to the mine.

Well, it turned out that the innocent looking open land in front of the wood is a bog! G went into it up to his waist.

Beware of the bog!

We eventually escaped to terra firma by backtracking to the stile, floundering across more rough and boggy moorland to finally reach the bridge and the faint traces of an ancient lane and path that linked a scattering of ruined cottages. At one time, with the mine and six or seven houses, there must have been quite a little community up in that valley, but now it's absolutely deserted and there was only a handful of sheep and a couple of ravens to be seen.

Ruined cottage

So the walk took a lot longer than planned and was far more exhausting than it was supposed to be, but we saw a part of the local area we'd never visited before and we do now have a safe and sensible route to put in the geology book. Basically, up the track, look at the mine and return the way you came. Do not, repeat DO NOT venture off the track!

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