The sun is trying to shine as I walk out of the station at Briton Ferry and back through the town to meet the A48 and the busy road bridge over the River Neath. In the distance is the M4 and underneath me, a lot of mud and a large recycling centre.Fortunately, there is quite a lot of space between me and the cars whizzing over the bridge, so it is not such an unpleasant experience as I thought it was going to be. However I still have a fair bit of road walking to do on the other side.
I often wonder what people think when they see a lone woman walking along the side of a busy main road, empty of anywhere she may have come from or may be trying to get to – not trying to get a lift, just walking. Do they think I’m doolally? Are they right?
I walk on, it’s monotonous and there’s not a lot to look at but the pretty wild flowers growing in the verges. At one point I am allowed a few minutes peace when the path/cycle track veers off left, only to soon join the road again further up
After I while I see a big junction up ahead with signs pointing to an Amazon warehouse and this gets me thinking as to whether I am actually going to put my money where my mouth is (or not as it were) and stop using Amazon – zero hour contracts, terrible working conditions not to mention tax avoidance – but it is so easy. I decide to try.
To my relief I am now directed down a minor road towards Jersey Marine and after asking for a few directions I find a Welsh Coast Path sign on a lamp post pointing towards the tow path of the Tennant Canal. This will take me all the way to Swansea.
The next part of the walk is lovely, most of it accompanied by a family of swans.
At one point I am high above the road and treated to the sight of a trio of bikini clad Welsh beauties, sent out into the drizzle to encourage passing motorists to pull in for a car wash. They wave weakly at the cars speeding past but don’t seem to be harvesting much but a lot of honking car horns – think I’d rather clean toilets.Eventually, I walk across a footbridge over the River Tawe and end up outside the Dylan Thomas Centre – I call in.One could spend far more time in this lovely place so when I continue my walk later in the month I will make a point of coming again. The one thing I did need to see though was the replica of the poet’s writing shed as this was on tour and was due to be moved in a couple of days. One of my favourites:
“And when the firemen turned off the hose and were standing in the wet, smoky room, Jim’s Aunt, Miss Prothero, came downstairs and peered in at them. Jim and I waited, very quietly, to hear what she would say to them. She said the right thing, always. She looked at the three tall firemen in their shining helmets, standing among the smoke and cinders and dissolving snowballs, and she said, “Would you like anything to read?”