I have enjoyed reading the reports and photographs of Chris, @DL1CR and Uwe, @DK8OA activating from comfortable summit top shelters, and then drinking beer and eating plum cake, and thought that I would attempt a Welsh version.
My goal was to activate my local 1 point summit, GW/SW-034, Garth Hill - Mynydd y Garth, walking from my house in Cardiff to my daughters house in TonTeg, taking in the delights of the river Taff, and enjoying a pub lunch on the way.
© Crown copyright and database rights 2023 Ordnance Survey (100025252)
Cardiff, Caerdydd, the capital city of Wales, and my adopted home, was built on the export of Coal from the South Wales Valleys, and the Steelworks which brought me to the City. East Moors Steelworks closed in 1978 with the loss of 3,000 jobs and the remaining South Wales pits closed by the mid 1990. Cardiff is now a bright and vibrant city that is well worth a visit.
My route took me through Queens Street to Cardiff castle.
I have to wonder what Aneurin Bevan (statue), the champion of the working man and woman, thought of the opulence of Marquess of Bute’s vanity castle, and the immensely wealthy that he accrued from the South Wales collieries, while the miners were living in abject poverty.
A stroll through Bute park took my to my first scheduled stop of the day.
Coffee and a Welshcake
Next was the Industrial Hinterland, with railways, canals, and the remnants of an industrial past. Perhaps some similarities to Saarbrücken in the Rhine valley?
Castell Coch a 19th-century Gothic Revival castle built by The Marquees of Bute, framed by a riveted steel lattice bridge
The Taff trails consists of very well made paths and I found myself ahead of schedule and at risk of reaching the pub before opening time. Fortunately, Pugh’s garden Centre Café presented a solution and an opportunity to photograph some cakes, even if I didn’t eat one. It was at this point that I received a WhatsApp message with @GW4BML, Ben’s progress on GM/SI-012, Clisham, a very different undertaking.
A short stroll from the café took me to The Gwaelod-y-Garth Inn for lunch.
Gwaelod-y-Garth looking up at the Garth
The Gwaelod-y-Garth Inn, Welsh Real Ale pub of the year
Glamorgan sausages, mash and gravy
On my route up the hill I met a young amateur mycologist. The hill is legendary for the prevalence of liberty cap mushrooms, Psilocybe semilanceata. It is good to see young folks keeping the old ways alive.
The Garth, as it is known locally, is a popular spot, in part due to ‘The Englishman who Went up a Hill but Came down a Mountain’, and the main summit is best avoided for SOTA activations. I tucked myself out of the wind behind one of the Bronze Age burial mounds and setup camp.
Looking South to Cardiff, the Bristol Channel, and North Devon.
Looking East towards GW/SW-037, Craig yr Allt
The bands were in great shape and my chaser friends were out in force. I spent a most enjoyable hour and half working the pile up on 40m SSB. Thank you to the 14 stations who worked me on 40m CW. I am still learning and got rather confused when a strong station parked 300 Hz from my frequency. I spent 10 minutes trying to work him until I realised what was happening and how to adjust my filters, every day is a school day. I worked 6 local stations on 2m FM. Sadly I was out of time and failed to activate 20m.
I packed up my station and made my way to my daughters house in TonTeg for a cuppa and a proper valleys welcome.
I didn’t manage Chris and Uwe’s: summit, beer, cake sequence, but it was a perfect day.
73, Kevin, MW0KXN