Left at 9.40. Big hug from lovely Liz, my host. Soon started leap frogging with the group of 8 from the day before. They are 4 midwives and their husbands from York and they know a woman I work with. Kath, Geoff, Sue, Dave, June, Nick, Michelle, Steve.
First stop Newchurch where I went in the church and ate stale biscuits but gave them a donation as they have a nice honesty box tea coffee setup. Jem went in but maybe he didn’t see me as never said hello. I had my head in map and only saw him as he went in the church.
Up onto Disgwylfa Hill, I’ve walked this with Carol, lovely ridge walk, lovely weather, sunny and bright.
Into Gladestry. I thought the 8 were ahead of me but it turned out they’d gone to another honesty tea and coffee in the church there so they were actually behind me.
Onto Hergest Ridge. Met a Catalan man and talked a little about the fight for freedom. Later on I met his English companion who had a a bad leg. I tried to give her painkillers to no avail! There was a dead pony and its pony friend was standing next to it completely still. This had me in pieces.
Down to Kington and Castle Hill House, best B&B so far. Immaculate, nicely done up old house with interesting detail and well resourced fittings. All the new bath, shower, bed very comfortable. Nice pieces of genuine period furniture. Young couple who have clearly worked very hard.
Into town to the Oxford Arms, my 8 new pals invited me to eat with them so I did. Open mic night in the room behind so I sang along a bit.
About 14.5 miles today. Nick’s gadget said more. Total 67.
3 trains got me to Chepstow. Checked into Castle View B&B which was a sort of hotel and restaurant. I was in a separate building at the back. The wifi password was chipshop so this may be a clue to its former use.
Straight out to walk the first section of the ODP which starts from Sedbury Cliffs so to get there you go through housing estates and along fences of people’s back gardens and of course the sewage works but there is a good view to the “old” Severn Bridge and a good section of Offa’s Dyke and bank straight away.
Back to my room then out to Tesco for some supplies. The room was cold when the rain started but I eventually got some heating sorted out.
Journey to Llanfechain was long because of a pile up near Chester just under a roundabout over the A55. A very enterprising young man helped us to reverse back through all the accumulated traffic and we got onto the slip road and away. Good to see someone with a bit of nous.
After settling in we took a short stroll from the cottage, about 2 km and back.
To Dolanog and then along a bit of Ann Griffiths’ Way and a bit of Owain Glyndwr’s to locate a hill fort. Found it using contours only.
To Seeds in Llanfyllin for dinner.
I had dressed crab which was excellent, steak also good and a creamy thing. C had rack of lamb and huge piece of treacle tart.
To Pontrobert and then all the way along Ann Griffiths’ way to the point at which we left it the day before so we have walked the whole of it. She was a hymn writer. I have now found another bit of it on the map so we didn’t do it all, oh well I am sure we will be back and can finish it off.
To Welshpool very early for C to dialyse.
Strange knocking sound in car has been bothering me so drove to Kwikfit in Oswestry which also had the benefit of being opposite Skoda dealer in case I did need to do something urgently. Nothing was found to be loose. I then went for coffee and shops in Oswestry and back to Welshpool to collect C. Drove to a point on the Offa’s Dyke Path with the intention of walking a bit of it. C not well so brought her back to the cottage to sleep.
Went and put up blue balloons to guide Chris in.
She arrived and after waking Carol we went for the full circuit from the cottage. This was the first showing of Carol’s sun hat which gave her a surprisingly artistic appearance. All most fitting as there was a cook book in the cottage of Monet’s recipes. He wasn’t the most inspired of cooks and perhaps should have concentrated on the painting! Here he is in his hat: http://pinkpagodastudio.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/happy-birthday-claude-monet.html
Green Thai chicken curry with rice and broccoli.
Played 1980s quiz game, surprisingly hard, perhaps not, I don’t remember being very sober in that decade.
We all drove to Lake Vrynwy. Went in all the gift shops (3) and the RSPB shop.
Walked a circuit which had a couple of steep sections. Chris not so good.
Back to cafe for yummy ice cream which picked her up a bit.
Farewell to Chris at lake.
We used the washing machine and put it all on the line to dry.
Appetiser was a small coffee cup of veg soup. Tasty.
Starter, I had a goats cheese and tomato tart. C had mackerel pate.
Main, I had a pithivier because it sounds so silly to say. Not a good way to pick food as it was more pastry. C had guinea fowl which tasted like chicken to me.
Pud, we both had welsh cakes with berries and creamy blob of stuff.
I enjoyed dressing up and eating out but C says she would rather go for a pub meal in her jeans!
Up horribly early to Welshpool for dialysis. I went off and walked up to Beacon Ring which is on the ODP. The ring isn’t exactly creepy but I didn’t feel like walking through the dense wood on the top so went round it. Which council gave the planning permission for not just 1 but 2 mobile phone masts on an important archaeological site? On the way back down I came across some people having sex in a car. He looked very hot with the windows shut and singularly unattractive with his bald head and straggly hair. I only saw his naked torso you understand.
After this excitement I drove down to Leighton and parked by the church (locked) for a while. Then into Welshpool for coffee and lemon drizzle cake. Not drizzled enough.
Then picked up C.
To Church Stretton for a wander round. Hot. Nice shops.
Back near Chirbury to walk some more of the ODP. Stayed on the flat as very hot. We saw a kite at very close quarters.
Back home, supper and stroll round the lanes.
Lazy start. Plumbers came and gave us lots of hot water.
Went up to Lake Vyrnwy and took road up west side that was closed when we were here in March. Mountain road across the passes and into the National Park. Very steep road almost as alarming as the Bealach to Applecross. Stopped at Pennant to walk in the mountain. Lovely path, saw no one. Practised belaying and felt starting to get the hang of it it with my other hand. Picnic lunch and back to drive home on the A roads.
Bad squirrels had got in the window and eaten Carol’s bread rolls this time. Also poo everywhere. Not nice.
We packed up and bade farewell to Nicky who told us a most amusing story of one of her old boyfriends and his false teeth. As we left we came across a giant 2″ wasp creature which appears to be an Asian hornet. After I posted it on Facebook I was advised to report it to the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology which I have duly done.
We drove to Rhydycroesau and took on a bit more of the ODP. We actually met someone doing it, a nice man with a beard and a dog and kind eyes.
Looking forward to the next trip!
Please visit Map and Compass and learn how to interpret a map with me and my navigation partner, Cath.