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" A short Swansea Visit - 2019 "
Date & start time: Thursday 21st, Friday 22nd March 2019.
Location of Start : The red phone box, Loweswater, Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 143 211 )
Stayed at : Our son and daughter-in-law's new house, Ammanford, South Wales, UK.
Places visited : Central Wales, then Caswell Bay and the Mountain Gate Restaurant next day.
Walk details : Caswell Bay, an hour or so around the sandy beach.
With : Gareth, Rhian, Luke, Sandra, Jackie, Ann and the dogs, Rufus, Harry and Dylan.
Weather : Overcast but the temperatures were okay but not warm.
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We're off for a brief visit to Swansea, to see our son Gareth and daughter-in-law Rhian and also to view their new house.
We'll be away four nights, giving us three full days in the area,
to spend time with grandson Luke, the Owen family and the many friends we have in the area.
As can be seen from the map, to avoid the repetitive nature of the motorways, we turned south of Warrington and headed down through central Wales.
After a five and a half hours driving, all the local signs and information boards are now written in two languages !
This one was alongside the parking and picnic area on the Black Mountains, some twenty miles before Swansea.
The dogs needed a good run around, having been in the car all day, and we needed to stretch our legs too.
This was a well known and favourite stopping place when we used to live in Swansea and were driving on holiday to mid-Wales.
The weather on the way down had been fine but overcast, good for driving but not good for long distance views.
Our short stop up here on the hills to the west of the Brecon Beacons was closer to that cloud so views and temperatures were down.
The area is known as the Black Mountain because all the high ground opposite was once a major limestone quarry
and the area would have been full of noise, dust, mud and smoke from the quarrying and subsequent lime production.
The lime was needed for agriculture and also to fuel steel production in the blast furnaces of South Wales.
For a short dog walk we strolled over to the quarries and back (sorry no photos).
As Gareth and Rhian's new house is in Ammanford rather than Swansea, we took a minor road west
along the northern side of the mountain, rather than cross over the top towards the big city.
On this last stage of the journey we passed Carreg Cennen Castle, impressively built on a limestone rocky outcrop close to our route.
Their new home is a nicely renovated older property in a mixed estate of newer houses.
It is convenient for the shops, is close to Rhian's family and offers a short commute over the local hills to work for both of them.
The new house also gives them extra bedrooms so our grandson now has his own large room.
Bath time . . . " Say hello to Nana and Pop "
- - - o o o - - -
With Gareth and Rhian working and Luke in nursery, we arranged to meet up with friends for lunch followed by a beach walk.
The tide was out so Caswell Bay would be good . . . this is a view along the way of Swansea Bay and Mumbles Head.
Our companions today . . . Sandra (left) and Jackie (right).
Many years ago the old pre-war concrete building were removed
and in 1987 the area modernised and landscaped to provide upgraded beach-side shops and a café here at Caswell.
A rather bland 1960's set of apartments grace the back of the Redcliffe end of the beach,
but that doesn't worry Dougal on what is his first visit to a big sandy bay.
By the time we walk down to the tide line they have calmed down a little.
Sandra finds a rare stick to throw for the dogs.
Jackie and I putting the world to right, as Dougal shakes to get rid of excess sea water.
The scouring action of the winter sea has exposed slightly more of this rock outcrop.
The first barnacles only appear at least a foot above the current sand level.
I take a wide panorama of the bay from near the water's edge.
In the photo are Sandra, Ann, Jackie behind the rocks, two of the three dogs . . . and Sandra again . . . no I haven't photo-shopped her in !
The old Caswell Bay Hotel was demolished in 1990
and was replaced by three pleasantly designed apartment blocks seen here at the back of the beach
In the foreground are the honeycombed limestone rocks that feature in my childhood memories of the bay.
If, as a child, you splashed a bucket of sea water on the upper part of the rock,
it would channel delightfully down in the gullies to the sand below . . . hours of simple childhood pleasure on the beach.
Today the rocks allow us a little shelter from the breeze as we stop for a few moments to enjoy the view.
One last view of the western sea cliffs through the panoramic windows of the Surfside Café.
Afterwards we said goodbye to Sandra and Jackie and made our way back home via Bracelet Bay, past the iconic Mumbles Lighthouse.
- - - o o o - - -
Friday evening Gareth and Rhian had planned a family get together at a local restaurant, the Mountain Gate
Grandad Dennis, Ffion (crouched down) Abi, Gareth (Rhian's brother) and Rhian's dad Rob.
Rhian's Mum Viv, Grandma Pam and our daughter-in-law Rhian.
Our Gareth encouraging Luke to eat his meal.
We had a lovely meal and enjoyed an evening of conversation whilst meeting the extended Owen family.
Tomorrow . . . well that's another day.
- - - o o o - - -
Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Panasonic Lumix Tz60 Compact, or my Panasonic Gx8 compact system camera.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . . a tourist leaflet or local knowledge of the area.
Previous walk - 17th March Ennerdale Lake and a Sunset
A previous time in the area - 30th April 2016 - West Wales - 1 - Abercastle
Next walk - 23rd March 2019 - Swansea -2- Llanllwni