This was a day out in January 2019, not so much to visit a town, but to walk up a hill. Dinas Rhondda is as the name suggests, in the Rhondda valley, between the more sizable towns of Porth and Tonypandy, the later town being where Winston Churchill controversially sent the troops in during a miners’ strike riot in 1910. Dinas Rhondda is one of the train stops on the way to Treherbert.
It was a cold and frosty January day but the forecast was good and it did indeed stay dry all day, though the temperature never seemed to get above freezing. It was one of those days when its best to keep moving. After exiting the comfort, I use that word loosely, of my Pacer train, taking a few pics, I explored a bit of Dinas, picking up a geocache in the process. One thing I wasn’t expecting to stumble across in the town were pigs. I was stood just on the other side of the wall when I spotted them. I had quite a freight. My dog looked a bit surprised too I must say. Their black colourings blended in very well with the colour of field (that’s another loosely used word).
Time to head for the hills. I’m still getting used to the fact that in South Wales you can quickly escape the noise and clutter of the town and soon be on the hills and hardly notice the towns below in the valley. I thought I had done that today. After a half hours walk the path was flattening out and the views beginning to appear. The last thing I expected to see up here was a town. Trebanog seems to break the rules. Its not nestling down in the valley like most Welsh towns but for some reason but perched high up on a hillside. It’s as if someone in the planning department didn’t understand contour lines when looking at a map and decided to build a village just here. I can imagine it gets a bit nippy up here in winter when the wind is blowing. Fortunately for me today all was calm. I was even more surprised when I read Dorothy Squires spent her last few years living here. (I had a lift off her pianist once when hitchhiking in the 1980s).
The geocache I had come to find is aptly called Edge of the World. I’d like to say it was a simple straightforward find but I’d be lying. It took a fair old time to work out from the description given where I should be. The undergrowth in January should be short but the tufty reeds could hide a lot. I read and reread the logs previous finders had left. It seemed I was in the right place but just couldn’t lay my hands on it. I didn’t want to give up. It was a long way to walk back up here another time in the future. Eventually I got it. Phew!
I headed further along the path I had walked up and realised that if I was lucky I could descend off the hill a different way and end up in Porth and catch the train home from there. The plan worked reasonably well except that the track, once it became metalled, also became very icy. A pair of skis would have come in handy. Luckily I stayed upright the whole way down though it was touch and go at times. I’ve never seen a dog loose his footing so much. My poor collie dog sliding all over the place.
The path down bought us almost into the middle of Porth. There was just one geocache left to find and with the help of my decoy-dog it wasn’t too tricky. Another nice warm Pacer train, still in Arrive Trains Wales livery, brought us back to Cardiff.
Date of visit: 30 January 2019
See progress to date: A-Z of Railway Stations