July 21, 2021 by welshcyclist
Did my usual walk down and back up the street, then up and back, what I call, Dr Thomas’ lane. Noticed a squirrel in the bushes next to me. It was only feet away, but disappeared by the time I got my mobile camera ready.
I also noticed a thicket of nettles, which don’t seem to be as numerous as in days gone by. Getting nettle stings running through the fields and woods was a real, definitely not imagined, rite of passage when I was a lad.
I then walked down to Pontwalby bridge to meet her indoors, en route back from her church. It was very hot in the sun, as this unforgiving heatwave continues. Just took a couple of pictures,
This now gives the jumping miscreants the chance of easily climbing back up to bridge level to repeat the illegal exercise. While I have been at the bridge these last couple of days, no jumpers were in evidence, no doubt because the river, is currently (near pun intended), so low.
After pointing out these sage observations to her indoors we walked up the short hill back home, for a well earned sit down and cold drink of water. Sitting in the relative cool of indoors is very attractive in this 30 degree heat, but after a quick sandwich lunch I was on the move again, and took my fourth walk of the day.
I set off up our street to the junction with the Rhigos Road, crossed it to the lane that is the start of a very popular walking route up under Pontwalby viaduct. This viaduct was built by I K Brunel and was started in 1846. The railway over it disappeared as a result of Beeching’s decisions in the 1960’s. For over a hundred years it carried freight and passengers between Neath and Aberdare, and had a couple of signal boxes en route between Pontwalby and Aberdare.
From here the path starts to rise steeply following the gorge itself, with the accompanying sound of the babbling Nant Gwrelych below. Still a good flow of water, which was surprising considering the near drought conditions of the past few weeks.
As the path started to climb, I decided to save my TKR and head home a mere 800 yards away, but as I walked back I couldn’t resist taking this shot of this forgotten relic.