A School Group Up Mount Kenya

A School Group Up Mount Kenya

As a Valeways walk leader, I have had the privilege and pleasure of leading coastal and countryside walks for the past 2 years. As there are no Living with Cancer Strollers or Carers Walk this month, due to the coronavirus, I thought I would share some of my adventures as a walk leader further afield….

As a young teacher in Kenya, I decided to take a school group up Mount Kenya. This is the highest mountain in Kenya and the second highest in Africa, after Kilimanjaro. There are 3 peaks on Mount Kenya and walkers head for the less technical trek to Point Lenana (4985m).

My school party consisted of 25 pupils and 10 teachers. We had guides to take us through the breath-taking scenery: tarns, glaciers, dense forest, a vertical bog and to point out the wildlife: including mongoose, hyrax (evolved from the elephant) and duiker. Fortunately, we didn’t spot the rarely seen giant forest hog or bongo!

There are various routes up the mountain and the climb takes 3 days. After acclimatising at Naro Moru, we spent the first night on the mountain at the met station. All was well. The next day we set off through forest and high-altitude equatorial vegetation to reach Mackinders Camp with the dramatic peaks of Batian and Nelion looking down on us. Tents were set up for us and the head of the school cooked a high energy pasta dish, which very few people ate. Altitude sickness had struck…not something that my walkers around Cosmeston or Barry Island have ever experienced!

Headaches and sickness took over a large number of the party so only a few emerged from their tents at 2am to head to the summit. Heading off at 2am meant the scree and the glacier at the peak were frozen and more easily walked on. After a long trek we reached the top and watched the sunrise.

On the descent, one pupil, slipped on the ice and started to head towards the tarn….luckily a guide stopped him. Not a sight that is easily forgotten. On reaching Mackinders Camp, where we had left a large group of sick individuals, we were greeted by happier and healthier pupils and teachers; the British army had arrived for a training session and had provided lots of hot tea and biscuits.

So …… at Cosmeston and over at Barry Island, if you join us when the social distancing finishes, you can feel confident that you are in safe hands….as long as there are no frozen tarms to fall into or great heights to be scaled….

Lynne Frugniet



Enjoy A Sociable Chat And Stroll

Caring relatives provide an extremely valuable service and the responsibility of care giving often falls on one person’s shoulders. The strain that carers are under and their invaluable contribution to care is often not acknowledged. Most carers cope with little or no support and caring can become a socially isolating experience. If you are a carer and would like some social contact and light physical exercise, then join our Carers walk at Barry Island.

On the first walk of 2020, there seemed to be a colourful theme as the walkers wore bright coloured coats, hats, scarfs..and…shorts in one case! Bright colours are not compulsory, just a desire to take a break from caring duties and enjoy a sociable chat and stroll. If you would like to join us, it’s the last Thursday of every month, 10 30am, Barry Island station.



From Cosmeston to Penarth


The Thursday Wenvoe Walkers’ Group undertook a walk on New Year’s Day from Cosmeston to Penarth and return. The walk is usually held monthly on a Thursday afternoon and generally covers some 5 miles with a cut-off for those people requiring a shorter route. On this occasion the weather did not deter any-one and 23 people turned up.


Novembers Walk


Across Wales, there are over 350,000 carers who provide unpaid support to a loved one who is older, seriously ill or disabled. Whether you care around the clock or for a few hours a week, in your own home or for someone elsewhere, caring can have a huge effect on our lives and plans. Looking after someone can be tough, and lonely. If you find yourself in this position and would like to join a small group for a walk, where people will listen to you and you have the opportunity to enjoy some time to yourself, then meet us at Barry Island railway station. December’s walk will be on 23rd December at 10.30am, to avoid any clashes with Boxing Day activities!



5.4 Million Unpaid Carers

5.4 Million Unpaid Carers

In the UK there are 5.4million unpaid carers. In Wales there are 370,000 unpaid carers who support a loved one with an illness or disability.

Looking after someone can be very demanding. There are times when carers will feel tired and alone. Taking care of your own wellbeing could help with the emotional and physical demands of caring. If you are a carer and want a short stroll, fresh air and a chance to chat and have a coffee, meet us at Barry Island at 10.30am on the last Thursday of every month.




Carers Walk


As a summer heatwave descended over Europe, the carers walkers met at Barry Island in similarly scorching heat. Hats, suntan lotion and bottles of water at the ready, the group set off. Jackson’s Bay was the first stop and an almost empty beach looked as beautiful as any beach on any Mediterranean coastline. We are lucky to live in this part of the world.

The group for this walk was small. That is the nature of carers’ commitments. Caring can be a lonely job and plans have to be unmade to fit in with the needs of the person who is being cared for. The Carers Walk is for carers, when the time and situation is right. The walk doesn’t have to be a monthly commitment. If you care for someone and want a short walk, in good company, join us at Barry Island train station on the last Thursday of every month at 10:30am.



Inaugural Carers Walk


The inaugural Carers walk took place at Barry Island on the last Thursday of April. The walkers experienced all 4 seasons in one hour as they strolled along the coastline: Winter rain on Nell’s Point, Summer sunshine on the promenade, Autumn wind in the gardens and Spring showers on exiting the cafe!

New research by Carers UK claim 6.5 million people are carers, or 1 in 8 adults and it’s anticipated that by 2037, the number of carers will increase to 9 million. Caring can be a lonely job and the walk for carers is offered to carers and their families to give some gentle exercise in a lovely seaside environment with good company!

Alan, a carer came along to the first walk and thoroughly enjoyed the walk, chat and tea!

If you would like to join us, we meet at the Barry Island train station on the last Thursday of every month at 10.30am.



Introducing Thursday Walkers

The “Thursday Walkers” are an afternoon social walking group who meet monthly. The walks are organised by Bert and usually cover some 5 miles with a cut-off point for those undertaking a shorter route. They also include a visit to a coffee shop either during or at the end of each walk.

The photograph was taken during a visit to the Parc Slip Nature Reserve Tondu and shows the group sitting on the monument to the 112 men and boys who died following an underground explosion at the coal mine on 26 August 1892. In total some 112 stones have been used to create the monument.
The mine, which commenced operating during the 1860’s, was closed in 1904, but was re-opened as an opencast mine from the 1960’s to the 1980’s.
After landscape restoration work, Parc Slip became a nature reserve in 1999 and is managed by The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales. The reserve has a number of paths for visitors to take walks which are well sign posted. There is an excellent coffee shop in the reserve and Trust volunteers’ are usually on hand to give advice etc to visitors.