Port Talbot and Margam Country Park

We were very early into Margam Country Park on the Sunday morning, rubbing our eyes through lack of sleep. The way up to the start area of the Dragon cycle ride was muddy and the campervan got stuck in a rut causing  a bit of a tailback until we managed to come off the road onto the grass to get round the area.
I dropped Alan off for what promised to be a long day - he was doing 140 miles through the Black Mountains, not easy. I had around 8 hours to kill. What to do? The Black Mountains would be nice but full of thousands of cyclists. The Gower was a 2 hour round trip and we had to drive home after the race - another 5 hours - too much.
So I decided on local and went into the sort of seaside area of Port Talbot, Aberafon. There are lots of Aberafons in Wales, aber meaning mouth of and afon meaning river! The place attempts a seaside feel with flags and a promenade but does fall slightly short. The Afon Afon divides Aberafon from Port Talbot proper and walking across the broad sweep of sand you round the corner to be faced with the full industrial impact. In accordance there is one colour picture of the glorious Aberafon and the rest are in black and white. Walking down by the river bank I saw a man coming up from the river with 2 bikes. I don't know if the second one had been pulled out of the mud, whether it had been abandoned down there, or stolen but he approached me and asked me if I wanted to buy it. I refused, not wishing to be a fence.
From here I drove back to Kenfig, now filled with families rather than the weirdos from the night before. I walked the dog down over the dunes to the sea, around 1 1/2 miles in blistering heat. The dog (aged 14 and arthritic) was not happy and I was concerned that I was going to kill her off. She did have a cool off in the water before we went back to the van for some lunch and a read of my book.
Then it was time to go back to Margam Park and have a walk around before meeting Alan. The Park is quite big and at its centre there is a large house, called the castle, an orangery and some ruins of an abbey which might have been picturesque but was surrounded by scaffolding. I still had infrared on my mind and so the last 3 pictures are merged infrared, converted to black and white, and colour pictures of the same scene. All the monochrome pictures were processed in Silver Efex Pro 2.


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