This week’s blog post is a little different and from our four-legged friend Max at the Felin Fach Griffin. The walk is a popular route, but quite nice to see it from a dog’s perspective!
Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Max and I’m the resident dog at The Felin Fach Griffin. I belong to the landlady Julie and will do most things for a piece of black pudding. When my mum’s not working one of our favourite pastimes is to go walking in the mountains, both in the Brecon Beacons and the Black Mountains. Mum and I like to go out to get our heads cleared of work at the pub and I really like the picnics she makes because they normally involve chicken legs that I steal only because she’s taking photos you understand and they are left unattended.
I was going to tell you about one of my favourite walks but another blogger, not a dog may I add, sort of got there first and I’m now trying to think which walk I can write about. *pauses and scratches head with right hand paw* I’ve decided to let you lovely walkers out there now about a circular walk that is quite popular but I’m telling it from a dog’s perspective, which is a lot lower to the ground let me tell you!
I love walking up to the top of Hay Bluff, walking the ridge that takes you to Lord Hereford’s Knob and beyond. We then scarper down the mountainside where we can relax on the common land, take in the back roads and get back to the car park at the bottom of Hay Bluff where if it’s summer there is sometimes an ice cream van waiting and I get a vanilla cone, not a ’99 mind you because dogs shouldn’t eat human chocolate. This, my mum says, is an 8 mile circular walk but by the time I’ve run around I’m sure it’s more…..got to get hungry for that ice cream.
When mum has negotiated her way up the road that leads to the car park (SO grid reference OS2337), taking care of course that she doesn’t hit any of the sheep, horses or cows that can roam there, we park at what, I think, you humans describe as a stone circle, me; I’m looking out of the boot at the big hill we are going to climb.
Can I just say at this point that if you are like me and are good around livestock you don’t need to be on a lead but must obey your human at all times, if you are bad like my friends Wilma, the Jack Russell, and Max (no relation) the Cocker Spaniel leads are needed as we mustn’t chase the livestock or the farmers get mad! My mum always packs my poo bags so she can pick up any mess that I accidently leave, I’ve less control over my bodily functions than you humans and need a little help sometimes.
I’m given my own tennis ball to carry and we’re off up to the top of Hay Bluff.
My mum lets me drop the tennis ball so that it rolls down the hill and I can fetch it back up again (I’m thinking of that ice Cream) and she walks with her friends to the top. Mum says we must stick to the paths that are marked and not walk where we’re told not too as the erosion is bad, I do not know know what erosion is but apparently it’s to do with earth getting loose and rolling down the hill, like my tennis ball, but the earth doesn’t get back up again and gradually the hillside gets eaten away.
When we get to the top mum always stops to look at the view she says that the whole of Wales seems to spread out before her. Sometimes it’s windy up there and having been there in January, I can vouch for that. The silly humans were leaning into the wind but just as I thought I’d have to stop them from falling over the edge the wind seemed to hold them up and keep them safe. We walk right along the ridge and when we get to the end there is a big slope for me to go down. There are always sheep and horses at the bottom of this slope so make sure your human keep you under control. We cross the road and then start a big climb again up to the top of Lord Hereford’s Knob. I really don’t understand why humans seem to think that’s a funny name but they seem to giggle when they say it.
Lunch is had when we get to the top and we can see down a valley to our left and more open land to the right. We are high up still and sometimes I wonder how we will get back down again.
We walk along this second ridge and see a path leading down at a diagonal to the common pasture below so carefully we start to clamber down. This is a very narrow, but obvious, path that will take you down slowly. There are lots of sheep grazing on this common so again, don’t be like Wilma who slipped her lead and had to be chased by her human to stop her annoying them. You can see sheep track that lead all over the common but you want mum says, to be heading towards the old road that leads to the main road that the car park is on.
The common has lots of wild flowers growing on it and lots of birds that seem to be asked to be chased, but I’ve still got my tennis ball so I’m really not interested. When we eventually reach the road we go to our right and follow it. It seems more like a tarmac track that farmers use than a road and at some points even has water rushing over it so that us canines can get water. Mum seems to carry a pack on her back with water for the journey but I prefer to drink the crystal clear water instead. The last time I did this walk, I was playing with my tennis ball and these two devil sheep cornered me behind a tree and I was scared because I know I’m not allowed to bark at them but they didn’t want me to go past. I put it down to being lambing time and they had been annoyed by bad dogs before and were taking it out on me. I ran away, fast.
When we reached the end of the track/road mum turned left and we were almost back at the car…..but where was the Ice Cream van? Not there but mum drove me into Hay and we got ice creams in Shepherd’s instead. Sheep’s milk ice cream. Revenge ice cream I say for cornering me behind a tree and scaring me!
My human’s pub is dog friendly for all you walkers out there who know that we deserve a drink after a walk as much as you humans do to unwind and apparently there is a web site that you can go to, to see what the pub’s like. I don’t know what a web site is but here’s the address anyway. www.felinfachgriffin.co.uk . Frankly I’m surprised that my paws can even type let alone talk about these funny webby things. Mum said to tell you all about the summer holiday deals that the pub is running for longer stays this summer so you can enjoy the beauty in the Beacons and the Black Mountains in a place where you are comfortable, you get fed well, you can drink well and you can certainly sleep well after all this walking! I’m still not allowed on the beds at the pub though! Woof.
4 year old Kelpie Collie Cross
Currently residing under the computer desk at my human’s feet. (Using a cordless keyboard to type you understand…)