We took Dylan and Blodwyn up to the Scenic Drive last week and were shocked to find that you now have to pay for parking! Boo! Now... I know £1 isn't all that much - but it was more than we had! Also, the signpost telling you about the charges was small but the fee for not paying was large: £75! We almost missed it and could've gotten a nasty surprise!
This bothers me for several reasons:
1. I pay council taxes especially for the upkeep of my local parks. I don't expect to be charged on top of that for using them.
2. Nature is FREE goddammit. How DARE you charge me for the privilege of enjoying Her bounty!
3. I'm fucking broke. I don't always have £1 laying around (as sad as that sounds) and the Scenic has always been a wonderful cheap alternative.
After much grumbling and some scrounging for change we knew we wouldn't find, we gave up and headed for pastures cheaper.
Our first stop was Sirhowy Valley Country Park. It's a place we've been meaning to check out but have never gotten around to. One of the reasons that we've never bothered is that it's right next to the local dump. Sorry... but I don't like my Nature with heaps of garbage on top! But, we had the dogs all dressed up and ready to go so we wandered over anyway.
And may as well have not bothered. It was so dingy and unclean looking. We didn't make it more than a few yards before we gave up and headed back to the car. The next stop? Home.
The dogs needed a walk so we decided to just do what we always do and head up the canal. So much for a change of scenery. But, as we were walking, I remembered a place Drew (from Twisted Stitches) and I discovered a few years back. So, after a little ducking around barriers meant to keep people like us out, we cut through the overgrowth and into the woods.
(Our spot, back in 2007.)
We eventually came to the little clearing that I remembered, dead now after the winter freeze, but peaceful enough for us to take the dogs off their leads and have a good run. Less than half a mile away - right across from the Scenic, really - free, and exactly what we wanted. Who would have thought?
(Dylan and Blod exploring our spot.)
The wild seclusion of the place called out to me and woke the witch in my blood. How could I have forgotten about it? I should be annoyed at myself but I'm not. I enjoyed discovering it all over again. You can bet, though, that it's a spot I'll be returning to often now - though probably without the mutts in tow.