My Sourdough Journey: Chapter Thirteen – Lots to See and Do in Hay-on-Wye

As the summer wore on, there was lots to see and do in Hay-on-Wye.

One Sunday afternoon, I went for a walk up in the region of the Black Mountains, and near to Hay Bluff, with a group of people I’d recently met. It was a beautiful piece of countryside: expanses of fields and hills, subdivided like a quilted blanket

Wales: expanses of fields and hills, subdivided like a quilted blanket

Wales: expanses of fields and hills, subdivided like a quilted blanket

and decorated with sheep

Wales, near Hay Bluff in the region of the Black Mountains

Wales, near Hay Bluff in the region of the Black Mountains

Baa Baa Black Sheep . . . there was even a black sheep. I have not seen many such in Wales

Baa Baa Black Sheep . . . there was even a black sheep. I have not seen many such in Wales

and the occasional wild horse

Wild horses near Hay Bluff . . . probably owned by someone

Wild horses near Hay Bluff . . . probably owned by someone

A young horse near Hay Bluff, perhaps posing for us

A young horse near Hay Bluff, perhaps posing for us

Another young, wild horse near Hay Bluff. This one could do with a bit of a brushing, maybe

Another young, wild horse near Hay Bluff. This one could do with a bit of a brushing, maybe

hand glider (sorry, gentle reader, I didn’t get the shot for that one) and kite enthusiast.

Kite flying near Hay Bluff, Black Mountains, Wales

Kite flying near Hay Bluff, Black Mountains, Wales

Our able guide told us that the mountains were called the Black Mountains because they actually looked black, depending on where the sunlight hit them from. I guess this is an example of what she meant:

Light bringing out the blackness of the Black Mountains, near Hay Bluff in Wales.

Light bringing out the blackness of the Black Mountains, near Hay Bluff in Wales.

An even more stark example of light bringing out the blackness of the Black Mountains, near Hay Bluff in Wales.

An even more stark example of light bringing out the blackness of the Black Mountains, near Hay Bluff in Wales. (No, dear reader, this was not digitally altered in Photoshop.)

Now, even though the Welsh countryside had its own peculiar brand of beauty, it still in many ways reminded me of Jamaica. Sometimes I closed all else out and imagined I was in Jamaica just to see if the similarity was real, and it was.

A typical Welsh, country road . . .yes, very typical for many parts of Jamaica too.

A typical Welsh, country road . . .yes, very typical for many parts of Jamaica too.

And even though the actual flora in Wales was somewhat different from that in Jamaica, I reminisced about Jamaica as we waded through sections of hillside that swallowed us in bushes up to and past our waists. It reminded me specifically of the time when I was perhaps about nine years old and my Aunty Jean and some of the other adults in our family were going to the field to do some work one day. I remembered my Aunty Jean giving me a piggy back as we trekked along a narrow, hilly, bushy track just like the one below. But if I remember correctly, it was prickly, pineapple plants that surrounded us on either side; and maybe my Aunty Jean didn’t want me to get scratched legs by wading through them myself.

Wading through thick bushes in Wales. We did this in Jamaica too.

Wading through thick bushes in Wales. We did this in Jamaica too.

I reckon we walked several miles that Sunday afternoon in Hay.

A long walk near the Black Mountains in Wales

A long walk near the Black Mountains in Wales

And I daresay that all of us, including the dog, who incidentally is related to George, the Labrador, enjoyed it thoroughly.

Not sure what he was after in that water but I stayed well away from him when he came out to ensure I wasn't within shower range when he decided to shake himself dry!

Not sure what he was after in that water but I stayed well away from him when he came out to ensure I wasn’t within shower range when he decided to shake himself dry!

Lydia and the dog

Lydia and the dog

There were many more walking routes in Wales and it would perhaps take me a month of Sundays to do them all. But for now, I can say I went to Hay Bluff-the famous Hay Bluff-well almost-and for now, that’s more than good enough.

 

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