Day 84 - The most needed rest day yet !!
Trip Start Jun 12, 2010
147Trip End Nov 18, 2010
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We go down to breakfast at 8 am feeling a little bit more refreshed although Debby warns Keith he is in danger of being considered a grumpy old man. He was moaning that 'How am I supposed to live without you' being belted out by Michael Bolton while he is eating breakfast is very distasteful. The fact he was also hunched over his bowl of Alpen was either a sign of tiredness or age. Immediately when challenged Keith sat bolt upright, but he still didn’t like Michael Bolton.
After breakfast we headed out to do our blog and our other chores of the day and walked straight into the rain storm
We will finish now as the library is closing. As you can read we are not in great shape but at least we now understand what we are up against and we are determined to press on.
We had sat surrounded by wet clothes in the library for two hours and so it was a delight to be able to get out and sit in a warm café (The Pendre Café) for a coffee and toastie. The quality wasn’t up to much but we got some sustenance from it. Now we had the afternoon for resting and other chores. Our first stop was the walking clothes shop where Keith received quite a surprise. One year ago Keith believed he was a 'trim’ 37" waist. While preparing for this adventure he had lost a few kgs. and was a 36” waist. Now he needed new shorts and walking trousers. It is late in the season the owner of the shop explained and we have no 36” shorts left. To Keith’s great surprise he now finds he is a 34” waist and was able to get both trousers and shorts. Where on earth will this end he wondered.
By mid-afternoon we have formed the opinion that Prestatyn is a place from the 1960’s. The shops look like it, the people look like it, and the food is generally up to that standard. It is a sign of our state of mind however, that when Keith cracks a joke, Debby says she will need to have some cake before she can laugh – she’s that tired. We have an afternoon tea to satisfy Debby’s craving for a cake she has seen. Keith is too tired to eat the scone he ordered with his tea, while Debby pushes her cake aside as being inedible and eats Keith’s scone instead. Debby has performed admirably this afternoon and deserves the scone. Following the heartache of arriving in Prestatyn with no obvious place to stay, she has been calling B&B’s relentlessly and we now have accommodation booked right through to the end of this week.
We do get back to the hotel for a brief rest before heading out once again to one of the few benefits of Prestatyn, their arthouse cinema. We see the 6 pm performance of The Girl who played with Fire, the second in the Swedish series of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which we find enjoyable as a distraction. Finally we take a taxi to our hotel to save further walking and order a simple dinner in our room where we delight in watching the Last Night of the Proms live on TV.
We are still feeling pretty tired and we are concerned about how we will fare over these next few days. We realise we have lost sight of our original goal, which was to wander and wonder without focussing on the destination. Over the 8 days of walking from Hope to Prestatyn we averaged 30 kms per day. We seem to have become obsessed with reaching our destination earlier, rather than focussing our attention on enjoying the walk. The last two days into Prestatyn were particularly disheartening. Now we must remember our original goal. We have the prospect of walking Offa’s Dyke Path over the next two weeks. This path will take us back into the Dark Ages when King Offa ruled Mercia, the largest of the seven English Kingdoms, from 757 AD to 796 AD. He was one of the greatest of English Monarchs of the Dark Ages from 406 AD when the Romans left Britain. He was the first King to use the title the King of England on the currency he minted. Like the Romans who, failing to conquer the Scots, built a wall to keep them out, Offa twice failed to conquer the Welsh and so built a dyke which runs most of the border between England and Wales. Over the next few days we will be walking along or on much of it and we will soak up the history of King Offa and King Arthur who followed him and the legends that surround these times.