Morrison was out again on Monday 7th June on a long trek to mid-Wales for four nights camping. We took the longer route there, crossing the old Severn bridge and meeting up with relations to view their Hill Fort. They have a dwelling down some of the narrowest roads imaginable. Thankfully we met nobody coming the other way. Leaving was not quite so lucky and I had to reverse back up the road to allow an oncoming vehicle to pass.
Their Iron Age Hill Fort is in a spectacular setting, you can see the major South Wales hills in the distance. The embankments to where the hill fort is located would take an athlete to scale. Their fields were wonders of wildflowers. After a nice lunch with some lovely Scottish cheese, we left to drive up to mid-Wales. (We have now ordered some of the cheese (from the Ethical Dairy)).
We arrived at Fforest Fields campsite, checked in, set up camp and went for a walk around their ponds in the lovely evening light. So beautiful and so quiet. I grabbed a few golden hour photographs.
The next day we went for a walk up the hills, visiting all the usual spots, such as Mobile Phone Mast, Look Out, The Water Falls. We did spot many red and blue Damselflies and a Broad-bodied Chaser who stopped long enough to be photographed.
Tuesday also appeared to be sheep herding day, all you could hear were the sheep being rounded up and moved from one field to another. Quad bikes and dogs doing the work. Lots of baaing sheep as they were moved from field to field. I don’t know what was happening to them, no shearing appeared to occur, some were penned away behind trees out of view for a while, where there was much shouting.
It was a lovely day, and after lunch back at Morrison, I decided to go for a hike up the hills and along the top to where I used to paraglide. Shot up the hill, (those Joe Wicks exercises worked well), along the ridge, along sheep tracks. I forgot how steep the slope was. Falling I would not have stopped for a while. Coming back I went inland along the vehicle tracks and back down. Aargh, the pain in my left leg below the knee was excruciating. Fine going uphill and level, but agony going downhill. Back at Morrison, a (pre-made by me) Negroni eased the agony. Some lovely evening shots of the buttercups in the long grass under the slope to the hills in the field where we were parked. The owners have kept up to the tradition of mowing a number of spiral paths in the long grass, making beautiful patterns when glimpsed from above.
Wednesday and Thursday a gentle few days of walking around the site. On Thursday R and I walked along the bottom stream towards the pub, then up the hill and back past the mobile phone mast. In the afternoon after lunch, I decided to walk up the hill, and then a walk south on level ground high up. It was a damp day, cloudy. Good day for walking as not hot. I made it to a trig point took a selfie and then walked back. Around 6 miles in a couple of hours. The same problem, walking uphill or on the level, no problem. Downhill, on the same path as Tuesday, my left leg was in agony. At the back of the leg, just below the knee. Thursday night we fired up the charcoal BBQ, and then resorted to the frying pan on the induction hob.
Friday we packed up and left. The site was full on Friday, would have liked to have stayed as the weather was good for the next few days.
What has changed at the site since our last visit three years ago?
There was a new check-in and shop built, separate from the main shower block and cafe. The shop had the basic requirements, milk, cheese, eggs, sausage and meat, items for a quick meal. The coffee shop was the same, now selling some (too) lovely chocolate brownies. Made in Wales, though Cardiff does sound a long way to bring them.
The new tree planting on the hill was growing well, the birds appreciated it, they were deafening, even from 300 meters where we were parked. Some mature trees at the top of the hill, behind the lookout, had been felled for wood. Some other pines at the top had also been felled, and the newly exposed pines had been damaged by high winds in the winter.
Around the swimming pond, the path had been built unmuddied with stone, and there was a little more grass cutting to open it up. Looked nice, but not so friendly to the wildlife. There were moorhen and coot families on the pond and we did see a fierce bust-up between two coots.