Hello again people and pooches. Joe the Cocker here after a post Christmas short walk. We regularly walk alongside the Afon Clywedog in North East Wales, so we thought that we would tell you about it. We were both looking forward to seeing the river in spate. There had been plenty of wet weather lately, so there should be plenty of mud. Yay! The big feller had the idea that if I wore my waterproof fleece that I might not need a shower when we finished our walk. He is so naive.
A short road walk from Coedpoeth took us past part of Offa’s Dyke. The road took us past the Grade 2 Listed stone wall that encircles the Plas Power Estate before we dropped into the Clywedog Valley at Nant Mill. We bypassed the mill and walked down the Bersham road to Nant Bridge where we joined the footpath into Plas Power Woods. The river was running a lot faster and fuller than we had seen on our previous visits.
Under paw the path was slippery with a combination of mud and fallen leaves. It looked like there was fun ahead. Within seconds of joining the footpath my human wanted to stop to take photographs, as usual. He quickly changed his mind when he slipped on the steep slope dropping down to the river. When he returned to the safety of the footpath he let me off my lead and told me to be careful. Me be careful? Pot – kettle!
Instead of following the main footpath, which is part of the Clywedog Trail, we took the riverside path. This footpath is usually muddy, but after the rain that had been dumped on the area lately, it was squelchier than ever. It was perfect, for me anyway. Lots of deep mud, plenty of low bushes and next to a very tempting fast flowing river. My human, on the other paw, said that I had to be on my lead because he knows what I am like. He wouldn’t let me go for my usual dip in the river because he said that I would be swept downstream. As he was concentrating on where he was putting his size 10’s, I did manage to venture into the edge of the water now and again. ‘Joe! You muppet!’ he yelled at me. I was on a short lead for a while after that.
We had to clamber over a few fallen trees while the big feller slipped on the odd exposed tree root. Serves him right for shouting at me. Ha! We came across a nice surprise as someone had decorated a small conifer with Christmas lights and baubles. My human seemed to like it anyway. It was just another pee post to me.
Some sections of the path were quite precarious as it climbed up from the river bank. My human took an age to negotiate the slippery clay slopes while I legged it ahead of him. We had to detour from the path at a point where a stream joined the river. It was way too boggy even for me. We rejoined the main path for a few hundred yards until we came to the stepping stones across the river. At this point, I usually splash through the water while my human gingerly uses the stepping stones to cross to the other side. I wasn’t allowed in the water on this occasion as it was too wild. I did manage a sneaky dip while David Bailey was taking photographs. This time I didn’t receive a rollocking, just a disgusted disapproving look.
The Nant Wood waterfall was running much faster and fuller than usual. There is a short path leading to rocks downstream of the waterfall where the big feller made me stand while he took photographs. He always complains that I refuse to pose for photos and this was no different. Its like having my own personal paparazzi. He gave in after a few attempts to gain the Photo of the Year and we turned back along the main path.
This was time for me to gather sticks as we walked. The recent high wind had brought down plenty of tree branches so I was spoilt for choice. I did manage to find a perfect one eventually and I carried it for most of our return walk. I carried it to the end of the footpath, along the road that passed the lodge at the entrance to the Plas Power Estate and past Nant View Farm. The rain clouds were gathering above The Nant and heading our way. ‘Joe, drop the stick and let’s get a move on’ was the order from the bossy one. ‘And do you have to sniff absolutely everything?’ was his next outburst. Well, yes I do have to sniff absolutely everything. It’s what us pooches do, isn’t it? He will never understand. Till next time!