Day 90 -Stiles aplenty & a bountiful Welsh harvest
Trip Start Jun 12, 2010
147Trip End Nov 18, 2010
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Where I stayed
The Manse B&B
Once again we have the company of Offa’s Dyke and we are soon walking along the top of it
We walk down from Racecourse Common and through Racecourse Wood, once again following the Dyke. Somehow in the thick woodland, we lose the path and take a detour, which adds distance to today’s journey. It is remarkable that we managed to lose the path, because until now we had felt it was so clearly marked that you’d have to be a blind man without a stick to lose your way
By 12.15 we enter the small village of Trefonen and here we take time out for an early lunch, because it is the only place on today’s walk where we will find civilisation. We sit peacefully in sunshine on a wall on the outside of the village, carefully placed to be hidden from local residents. Debby makes up our cheese and tomato sandwiches, with one of the best loaves we’ve been able to buy in Britain so far, purchased at the single shop in this village. We dallied 45 minutes over lunch today, a little longer than our normal rest and then we were back on the track and yes, going uphill again. To scale the summit of Moelydd (285m) with great 360 degree views, including to Snowdonia in the west. Although 285 mtrs might not sound very high, there is no doubt we are now feeling the climbs more than we were a few weeks ago, particularly those encountered in the afternoons. Fortunately nature offers a bountiful harvest today, and we are presented with late wild raspberries, a fine crop of blackberries, Victoria plums and a Damson tree so heavily laden with ripe fruit that Keith eats a good half a kilo
We descend from this peak through Jones Rough Nature Reserve, a lovely small wood with lots of yew and hazel trees. As we descend, Keith, leading as usual, hears Debby cry out and turns to see her on the ground. After a short delay to regain her poise, she is up and walking again. Once again we are so lucky that in twisting her ankle on a rock today, she has done no lasting damage. It was just the same yesterday, when Keith trod at an angle on a wet wooden step and fell down in the late afternoon. Although his left calf muscle twinges, there appeared no other damage. We are both so conscious that in the second half of the day, as our bodies tire more quickly nowadays, falls and injuries are more possible and therefore more care must be taken.
One final ascent stands between us and our destination for the night, and we climb up the brief but steep incline through a bluebell wood on a path which comes out along the Offa’s Dyke up to the top of Llanymynech Hill (226m). Once this is complete it simply remains to wonder down across a number of stiles into our small village for the night. We chat to a couple of locals who give us some advice on where to eat for the evening, as they marvel at the walk we are pursuing. They are walkers who are also in the process of walking Offa’s Dyke Path, but they are doing it in two day bite sized chunks
We head across the road to the Bradford Arms for dinner at about 7.30 by which time a little strength has returned to our bodies. Debby made an unfortunate choice of Roast Pork that was not worth the journey across the road. Keith meanwhile had a classic fish pie. We were soon fast asleep.