21/03/2021: St Fagan’s

Well today’s walk has all but wiped me out, and I’m somewhat surprised that I’ve managed to get the energy together to put the blog up tonight. Probably a bit pepped up from watching Line of Duty or something.

It appears that I’ve got to the age where I’m frequenting websites which list walking routes. As such, I found one today for the nearby villages of St Fagan’s/St Bride’s. I’ve been to the open-air museum several times, but of course it’s closed right now so just wandering around the streets, and as it turns out, fields, is all that’s available to us.

Yet again I’m writing that I’ve walked around somewhere I’ve never been before. Regular readers might be starting to think that I barely went outside before we were forced to stay inside. Maybe they’re right, or maybe I just spent more time going further away than five miles, who can know for sure (not me – I’ve blanked out the past several years for various reasons I won’t go into here).

Anyway, back to today’s escapades. I printed out, yikes, a walking route and map and set off with the best intentions. Sadly, I managed to mess up the first step by misunderstanding what was meant by “head east”. I knew it was a mistake to leave my compass at home.

Once I finally got my bearings we were good to go. I found myself wandering through another deserted woodland – there seems to be a lot of those around Cardiff, where is everybody? I also made my way past the site of a Civil War battle (you wouldn’t know it, but it’s very muddy so I hope they had good shoes).

Eventually I wound up in a field full of sheep, and more excitingly, lambs. Obviously I couldn’t get near them since my companion makes up for her shortcomings by being extremely vocal and scaring the poor things off. You can perhaps just about see them in the photos, if you squint hard enough.

To get back I found myself in the middle of a single-track road and meandering around several fields. There was a couple of cute churches, some horses and lots of fences. One thing I didn’t encounter very often on my walk was signs of human life – I think I saw a grand total of 3 other people in the entire time. I repeat, where is everybody?

I don’t know how many stiles I climbed over today, I lost count. At one point, I was trying to follow the directions in the walking route’s instructions, but I’m convinced it was written by somebody already an expert on the area as it didn’t make too much sense. Google Maps was trying to tell me to walk across the A4232 – not something I’d recommend.

Fortunately, I ended up back in the same bit of field that I accidentally wandered into at the start, so my panic that I might have to test my camping skills was tempered when I recognised a stile I’d already successfully navigated and breathed a huge sigh of relief. Perhaps it was all part of the plan, after all.

All this off-road back-to-nature fun is just a ten-minute drive from my house, which feels bizarre considering I live in an inner-city area. If you would like to attempt to recreate the walk I did – you can check out the instructions and the map here. I took the short route, I think I’d probably still be out there right now if I’d attempted the long one. I’d encourage readers to give it a go yourself if you want to test your own map-reading skills.

Don’t forget your compass!

Stats:
Distance – 5.49miles
Time – 2:37

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