14/12/2014 - I love the way you can almost rely on the weather forecast to be correct nowadays. It's off to bed with a smile on your face because you know the next day it's going to be sunny. And so it was - up at 6.30 and got a couple of hours of the day job under my belt before spending 45 minutes prepping my route for the day. Today I was staying local to Glynneath and the prize and driving force for getting to halfway was a Marshall's Big Boy Breakfast Roll. Scrummy Tuck with a capital S and a capital T - I LOVE MY FOOD. 

Marshall's Big Boy

.............and we're off - it's on to the Langey, someone told me why it was called this a while back and now I've forgotten which is why I'm building this website so I can look it up when I've forgotten. Yes I have a bad memory and as usual I had to return to the start because I'd forgotten to start my recording devices. At present I'm using a Garmin and Map My Walk on my iphone. 

While setting up for the walk Rob and his dog Max arrived so I continued the set up, and we had a good natter for the first 200 metres.   

Dai, Rob & Max the dog selfie

Then Rob fell backwards and I was looking the other way and I missed the photo so I was obviously not firing on all cylinders but we said our goodbyes at the bridge (we'll be going over there soon) and I carried on. 

The Bridge over the River Neath

It was a frosty December morning, the temperature was hovering around 3 degrees, cold but not freezing. I'd started off at around 10.00am and the ground was a bit icy but I managed to remain upright. I'm extremely familiar with this part of the walk so was enable to enjoy the view of the river and feel the sunshine on my face, despite the frost and the chill in the air it still felt quite warm. It was a good day and I was looking forward to Marshall's burger van for a late breakfast.

The girls inside are waving but just didn't show up on the photo, are they ghosts maybe. My Big Boy Breakfast Roll certainly wasn't and it filled a lovely big hole in my tummy. The walk continued back where I came from and I was aiming to come back along the mountain and drop back into Glynneath. Then I hit a problem, the public bridleway I was on was blocked off with a fence and a sign 'danger radiation'. So I headed up to the shed sales place to see if there was an alternate route and to enquire about sheds, because you'll never know when you may need one. As luck would have it the lady of the house was passing in a car and she let me know there was no path there and there were no alternate routes in that direction. So I headed back down and cut through the trees to the bridleway and a possible dose of radiation sickness/death. The track proceeded up the mountain and around through the back of the colliery. There were no signposts but I had the map and magnifying glass out and all was well. I continued to follow the marked bridleway on the map and was soon into motorcycle scrambling territory with the associated noises in the background, there were plenty of tracks and rutted areas, route tapes and arrows so this was a well used area. Keeping an eye out for Ivan Mauger or any of his friends I plodded on and without deviation from my route reached the turn for home. It was here I saw a sign facing the other way warning me of the motorsport activity. I was obviously lucky to be alive.

77-sign.jpg (247305 bytes) 76-cascades.jpg (204979 bytes) 66-gate.jpg (216648 bytes) 79-fork.jpg (132850 bytes) 82-st-cadocs-info.jpg (311451 bytes) 80-st-cadocs.jpg (157735 bytes)

Down I went and alongside ran a cascading stream, although the course of it looked man made it was quite picturesque. The forestry track turned the corner and the path soon turned into a concrete road after a gate. Thankfully it wasn't as icy here as it had been riverside because the path was wet and later on had a stream running on it and if this was ice it would have been an absolute nightmare. I made it back into Glynneath in one piece and spent 5 minutes looking around the graveyard at St Cadoc's Church, Aberpergwm. By this time the air had heated up nicely and the gloves were off. Through the Manor gates and onto the road and back to the finish via the 'Road to Nowhere'. Just a short word about the 'RTN'. It's the old town bypass which linked the old A465 up to the dual carriageway before they dualled it all the way to Neath. It has no access road and is only used by dog walkers, runners, bikers and the like. It's about 400 metres long, I don't know why but I just love it, I think maybe it's the jaywalking aspect, the fact that I can walk or even lie in the middle of the road without getting run over. Back to the finish and I'm done.


My first WAW blog and my first problem, a blocked path. So what do I do about it ? do I get involved with access issues, do I contact my local councillor or council. I think the answer is nothing, I want to keep this website positive and this is a negative step forward, I'll just find another way to get to where I wanted to go and If I've done wrong then I'm sure someone in authority will find out by reading this and lock me up.  But if someone out there wants to campaign for this right of way to be re-opened or want to take this forward then here's the info about the location.

Grid Ref: SN 862  058  - Derifach Lane, Aberpergwm, Glynneath

 60-path-bridleway-junction.jpg (257646 bytes) 61-blocked-bridleway.jpg (275021 bytes) 62-security-info.jpg (202106 bytes)


16/12/14 - OK - so you've caught me cheating already, today I worked out an alternative route for the above walk on my mountain bike. Naughty I know but I try to alternate between walk days and bike days because I broke my leg (femur in February) and I've found that cycling pumps the blood around faster and is less stressful on my leg. Plus it gets me around faster which leaves me more time to work on the website. Today I found an alternative route that cuts out the risk of radiation. I also spoke to someone who is seriously in the know about any radiation risks at Aberpergwm and they told me that the only possible source of radiation in the colliery was in the coal screening sheds and even inside the shed the risks were minute. So I found an alternate route that's a little bit muddier but probably easier to navigate. For more info please click on the link below.


More about my broken leg because I did hear a little question bouncing around in your mind, something like..... "How did you break your leg" Well it's like this see, I hoping you are sitting down before you fall down laughing. I broke it on the set of Casualty, yes the BBC programme about accidents and emergencies and I end up having the accident and being the emergency. It was an assault course scene, you may have heard Michelle Collins the actress talking about it on Good Morning Britain, if not you can see it on Youtube by clicking on the link below.


good effort

.....and I had lines too which was a shame because I broke my leg in rehearsal and never got on that programme. OK so you want to know more, well that was only my second acting job, my first was in the film Pride and I get a whole 2-3 seconds when I'm the only person on the screen and the camera is focussed on yours truly but you've gotta know it's me first because at the end of the day I am acting so I look like someone else. Here's me standing next to Bill Nighy in one of the promotional photos from the film.

We'll do a walk incorporating the Pride film location soon meanwhile for today's effort..............   



17/12/14 - It was a bit of rainy/misty day today so I did the GLYNNEATH - PONTWALBY VIADUCT CIRCULAR walk. I've a ton of photos on file so I'll add these and the map at a later date. WALK PAGE NOT AVAILABLE YET


20/12/14 - Another dry Saturday and another walk from the Glynneath Car Park, this time a 6.5 mile GLYNNEATH & CWMGWRACH CIRCULAR walk. Another Marshalls and incredibly while there I met a guy I hadn't seen for nearly 40 years, Nigel patten. Nige and I reminisced about old times, we grew up a couple of hundred yards apart and I delivered papers to his house. Nigel was on the tele not so long back on a BBC Wales programme 'Rhys Jones's Wildlife Patrol' where he disproved Nigels' sightings of a wild puma or similar animal. Nigel claims to have 4 seen large cats in the Port Talbot area on 4 occasions. I myself have seen 2, 1 definate and 1 just a fleeting glimpse not. So I am in Nigel's camp on that one.     


27/12/14 - It's Christmas time so we had a family walk today visiting my parents grave in Llantwit Cemetery in Neath and a 3-4 mile walk around the Gnoll Country park in Neath. The place has changed incredibly since all the pine trees have been cut down. 

28/12/14 - I didn't plan anything today because of family visiting over the Christmas period but the skies were amazingly blue and I couldn't resist getting out and completing another local circular walk. I was struggling to catch the light at the end of daytime to cracked on with the walk and didn't take many photos. I've loads on file