The day started with the call for attention from Mr Wagstaff. We were duly instructed that the day’s walk would be easy, over flat ground and good paths, and promised to be led a slow pace with consequences for anyone who broke the rule. It was cold and windless, but crystal clear which resulted in us donning extra layers, woolly hats and gloves. Altogether we numbered 29 with two new lady members from Ystalyfera.
From the outset the Carmarthen bay rewarded us with wonderful coastal scenes especially enhanced by the subtle hues of the seascape and long shadows from the sun which was sitting low in the sky.
As the tide was receding, we were entertained by fishermen laden with tackle wading out into deeper waters, flocks of birds congregating at the water’s edge, an old wreck with its decaying timbers sticking out of the sand like an upturned rib cage, and biblical like scenes where shafts of sunlight broke through the clouds (which accompanied us for a short time only) to irradiate the sea into a silvery inferno.
Later as we turned inland, we entered a pine forest in which the trees were clearly in a distressed condition. According to the signboards, the trees had been planted after WWII and were therefore suffering, like many of us on the walk, from old age. The pine species turned out to be an interesting topic of conversation as nobody quite knew what it was. Subsequent to the walk, I have however been informed by our longstanding arboretist member, that the species was a ‘black pine’ with a donation to charity if anyone is able to successfully challenge his verdict.
We stopped for lunch whilst in the forest and astonishingly for this time of year a red admiral decided to make a stopover on Steve, who with the butterfly took the opportunity to pose for the admiring crowd and photographers. As we continued into the Country Park we passed by a secluded bird hide behind which was an picturesque lake with magnificent reed beds surrounded by a cloak of trees and a small island in the middle - a paradise of solitude for the local bird life.
Further on, we came across ‘The National Closed Road Cycling Circuit’ a brand new, clearly very expensive, 2km track with a grade 1, six meter wide metalled surface plus verges and fences to be proud of - but no cyclists. Between this and the new cycle paths along the dual carriageway into Llanelli, Carmarthenshire seems to be set on being No. 1 in cycling.
We arrived at the marina after 8½ miles, with about another half to go. A tea room was open, and so a number of us decided to adjourn the walk at this point and enjoy our well-deserved tea and cakes.
Thanks Ian for something very special.