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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Windmill Walk

It was billed as ‘Llanharan and the wind turbines’
Lead by: Karen Ingram, flankers Avril Brown and Niki Adams.
A classic circular walk of 9 miles, 15.5 Kms, along footpaths, trackways and
an ancient ridgeway with fine views. You pass Bronze Age burial chambers,
the ruins of an old church, old colliery buildings and a modern wind farm.

There was never any mention of livestock. Did you read: Great Big Hairy Bullocks amongst that anywhere? Hmmm???? No, nor me. Very shortly after climbing the first gentle hill, we lost Jake and Richard almost instantly as I think Richard had stopped to attend to Jake's bathroom needs (he's a dog, before anyone starts to wonder.)
Having reclaimed everyone, we climbed over the second of the days many vertiginously high stiles, nervously noting the quantity of large, fresh cowpats.

Heaving into view over the horizon, the 20 or 30 Very Large Bullocks clearly regarded us as Sunday's entertainment. We moved into the lower portion of the field hoping they'd get bored with us. No chance. With our bright colourful clothing, shiny poles and high pitched voices we were fair game, and as the bullocks gleefully herded down the sloping field towards our skittering figures, Paula sprang across the deeply rutted meadow like a hare and vaulted the barbed wire fence. 'Save yourselves!" I think she said, but I couldn't be sure.
The rest of us mere mortals, either made of sterner stuff, or more likely, not possessed of Paula's nimble knees and speed, squelched and stumbled towards the stile - even higher than the last, and bound by a virtual quagmire of cowshit.
"Make yourself bigger!" shouted Karen, holding her poles outstretched. She and I yelled "graaaa graaa!!!!!" in a really scarey way at the cows. They peered at us interestedly from lowered horns, scraping their front hooves on the ground in an unfriendly way.
Progress over the the head height stile was agonisingly slow, what with trying to negotiate the plop slurry first. "HURRY UP" we squeaked, bravely, as the herd wheeled away from our pitifully thin squawks, only to thunder as one back towards us, bucking and snorting, clods of earth flicking up around them.
I was just thinking that maybe I should have written a will before this walk, when over the hill, chewing on a hayseed, with bluebirds twittering around her head, strode Niki Adams.
Staring down at us all clustered in the cowpats, her head swivelled around and took in the belligerent bullocks in a single glance.
"WWWHHEEEEEAAAAAARRRROOOOGRAAAGHHHHH!!!!!!!" she yelled mightily, and ran towards them, poles out at right angles. As one, the cows turned tail, and fled back up the hill.
"HURRAY!!!" we cheered. "Our Heroine!!!!"
The cows in the next field had obviously already heard about our Super Cow Scarer and huddled together, watching us. That didn't fool Claire though, who had taken up residence behind a brick shed. "If they're facing you," she declared "that means they're going to charge!"
The remainder of the walk passed without further bovine incident, and we all felt brave enough later on to admire the colossal bull in a field with his wives and children - from safely behind the fence of course.
The views were most unexpected - I hardly imagined that I was so local. It was as if civilisation was very far away.

The windmills were everything they were billed to be. Awe inspiring and very windy. Karen and Avril told me that they'd met the farmer planting mini wind turbines which grow up to be big turbines. "And the windmills that go around slower than the others? They're the adolescents and haven't got up to full strength yet" They must think I'm stupid. Everyone knows it's the OLD ones that go slow!
Avril's walk next. Can't wait!


Anonymous said...

what amazing photographs you have taken sue.

adult walkers said...

Wow I love the pictures, sounds like a really picturesque route too.