Monday, 6 June 2011

Welsh Boundary Walk - Carmarthen to Llanybri

Monday 6th June - day 48

Departure from Carmarthen in the rush hour and schools traffic was fraught this morning. Walking out of town I found Countrywide, a warehouse retail outlet catering for farmers and countryfolk where I was able to buy a new pair of socks, and they very kindly let me use their staff toilet - my thanks to a bunch of helpful people.

Llansteffan looks across the estuary to Ferryside where I was yesterday, and heard claims to Dylan Thomas's use of their town in Under Milk Wood. In the cafe at Llansteffan the lady proprietor made the same claim for her town, but I guess Dylan used bits of this and that so I suppose they are both justified. Apparently Dylan's parents lived jn Llansteffan but the connection has remained low profile, bur there is now a move to start capitalising more on this. I hope it doesn't spoil the place. I had tea and Bara Brith, a kind of heavy Welsh cake like teabread which has seaweed as an ingredient, and is spread with butter, delicious.


Above the town, proudly situated overlooking the estuary is a well preserved castle which I had a look at. Further on I was able to look across to Laugharne where I hope to visit Dylan's boathouse tomorrow. From there the only footpath of the day ended in a wood and vanished leaving me in a tangle of briers, nettles, thistles,thorns and having to climb yet another barbed wire fence. This was followed by a long hot road ascent to the campsite here in the tiny village of Llanybri. This is a Camping and Caravan Club "certificated location" where no more than five tents are allowed. At the moment we are only two. This is a peaceful and welcoming location run by a farmer and his wife on their land, and the facilities, although basic, as is the case with CLs, are immaculate. The pub marked on the map has closed along with very many others in the UK, but for this one there is hope because it has been bought and is in the process of refurbishment for reopening

The connection with Dylan has been palpable today and I am looking forward to more of this tomorrow - the Dylan Tbomas thing had a great influence on me when I was a youth round about the time I left a school.

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2 comments:

gimmer said...

don't worry about not being read - I - and I'm sure other anonymous 'followers' - am/are having a vicarious wander though Wales by reading this - and following it on various map sites - even to the extent of zooming in to satellite maps to check out the suitability of your accommodation and to see where and why your navigation goes awry.
It seems there are not enough people using the footpaths in these areas - your logs seem to dispatch of the idea that the farmers are too fierce, so maybe it is underuse or the Councils and footpath societies inactive.

Sir Hugh said...

Gimmer - I know that many more people are looking at the blog than they were before this walk. Blogger Stats tells me that I have been getting more than fifty hits on some days. Whether these are people who are reading the stuff I cannot tell.

The footpath problem is mainly lack of use I think. There has been much recent refurbishment of stiles but the paths are badly overgrown and often invisible across fields making it obligatory to take compass bearings. Often the stile on the other side of a field is not visible until you are a few yards from it. In deciduous woods the paths are difficult to follow, and the path one may see on the ground takes so many twists and turns that you can be heading in almost any compass direction at a particular time. I could go on, but suffice to say I have had enough of footpaths for a while.

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