Cambrian Mountain walking inspired by my ‘mamgu’.
Here’s a blog by Dafydd Wyn Morgan from Twm’s Treks:
“I spent my formative years, like many other children, staying with my grandmother during my school-holidays. Easter, Summer and Christmas and if I was lucky the half terms.
Where my grandmother lived was not too far away from my childhood home, but far enough to be able to say that I’d been on my holidays.
Fortunately for me mamgu’s house was in Ceredigion’s upland region known as the Cambrian Mountains. There, from the age of 3 until the age of 16 I would go, to a bustling market town called Tregaron.
It wasn’t until a quarter of a century later that the activities of my childhood would reincarnate themselves in my adult life to the point where I would reconnect with all those places in the hills visited as a child and this time be able to share them with similar minded people on their ‘holidays’, but not necessarily staying with their grandmother!
I’m Twm (not my real name) and have for the last few years been in the privileged position of being able to take people out walking in the Cambrian Mountains. Inspired by my mamgu’s Pony Trekking Association, I’ve based Twm’s Treks on a 16th Century highwayman who roamed the Cambrian Mountains between 1530 and 1609. I was encouraged to set up the service to meet the demand of the increased number of walkers arriving in the Cambrian Mountains and wanting a ‘local’ guide to lead them up and far away from life’s demands in open moorland and to cairn-capped peaks.
“What impression did those holidays in the 1970s leave on me?”
Well I have rejuvenated my enthusiasm for walking and moving back to Tregaron in 1992 made that easier. I reconnected with the mountains of my childhood, recapped on all the names, the stories and characters and now am happy to take people from across the world on a journey in the hills that will be safe and memorable and that will add to any visitor’s experience.
Setting up a walking club in Tregaron in 2003 was a major turning point. This allowed a group of local walking enthusiasts to work with me to provide an annual programme of walks, including local hikes and mountain challenges.
The town of Tregaron received the coveted Walkers are Welcome status in 2010 and by 2011 the local walking club, Clwb Cerdded Crwydro Caron, was already organising its first walking festival.
Not only was the walking festival, The Cambrian Mountains Walking Weekend @ Bro Tregaron a priority, but also too was the publication of a booklet to celebrate these local routes that had formed the basis of my childhood walking escapades. Those stories I heard as a child about the monks, the highwayman and the elephant would now be available to others to share in the form of a local trails booklet, available from www.twmstreks.com
By now the Cambrian Mountains walking product seems closer to me than when roaming freely back in my early teenage days. Pumlumon, the first real mountain I climbed, is still visited across the seasons and nowadays I look for new tracks and trails to follow from different starting points. The mountain is still a big lump to climb and a ‘must do’ for the walking enthusiast, mostly because it’s probably only going to be you there, unlike some other big ‘lumps’ in Wales.
Refreshingly there’s a new generation again of my family pounding the paths of the Cambrian Mountains as my daughter has also caught the outdoor bug, regularly leading walks during the annual walking festival in May.
So thanks to my ‘mamgu’, and thanks to the Cambrian Mountains that have stayed more or less the same since I was a 7-year old boy, both have made me who I am and now I look forward to spending the next 25 years sharing ‘my’ hills with visitors from the four corners of the world.
What I loved as a child I now appreciate as an adult, and hope others will too.
As well as The 4th Cambrian Mountains Walking Weekend @ Bro Tregaron, watch out for STEPtember 2014, a whole month of walking in the Cambrian Mountains, coordinated by http://www.twmstreks.com/page14.htm , including walks in a variety of Cambrian Mountains communities. Aiming to get 30 walks in 30 days.
Watch out for the TV/Film inspired walks. These themed-walks will take you to location where filming occurred in Y Plas(S4C), Y Gwyll/Hinterland(S4C) and most recently Y Syrcas(fFati fFilms/S4C). See yourself in the scene, camera, lights action………an all that!
That’s a wrap.”
The Cambrian Mountains Walking Weekend @ Bro Tregaron will be held on the weekend of May 2 – May 5 2014