Getting someone else to walk the route from the instructions on the web site has been very useful. Andy has spotted a few places where the instructions need to be clearer or where we need to focus on waymarking. On Friday we both walked up the hill from Risca towards the Blackvein. Apparently we went past the cottage where Steve’s father was brought up, but its foundations are now lost in the woods. Someone has done a bit of clearing on the old line of the Raven Walk from ST 22375 91193
(I must get back and have another look at that) but we stuck to the road, took the bridleway across the zigzags and headed for the top path at ST 22311 90954.
This now seems to be the official line of the Raven Walk – there’s a waymark on the other side of the post. It looks a bit different from when I was last there because the forest below the path has recently been felled. This opens out some wonderful views but the logging trail does confuse the path. We need to get some waymarking done here as well as a bit of maintenance further on.
The line of the footpath becomes a stony track, crosses a forest road at ST 22471 90939
and continues along the track, but you have to look out for a path turning right off the track and into the trees.
We found this at the second attempt and it climbs into the trees and up to the stile. From here the Raven Walk should go left along the edge of the forest to the gate at ST 23095 90588 and up the hedge to cross the minor road at ST 22933 90388. This bit is very overgrown with faint tracks through the undergrowth – Andy followed one of these and got to the road a bit to the west. There’s a right of way and several tracks running up to the road, one of which might be the hollow way I spotted there some years ago. Anyway, they all lead to the better track over the shoulder of Mynydd Machen and from there it’s clear all the way to Caerphilly and Pontypridd.
Andy’s blog post on this bit is at https://pilgrimpace.wordpress.com/2016/10/21/risca-pontypridd/ .