Day 96 - Walking in the wet into book heaven.
Trip Start Jun 12, 2010
147Trip End Nov 18, 2010
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We descend for breakfast and realise what it is we dislike most about staying in pubs. No matter how welcoming our hosts, and how charming the bar room feels in the evening with a fire going and people standing in quiet conviviality around the bar, in the morning there is no more soulless place on earth
We are keen to get to our destination today. We are going to Hay-on-Wye which in case you don't know is now considered to be the second hand book capital of the world. As many of you will know, Keith's passion is second hand books and so this is book heaven for him. Can you imagine a small village where there is one second hand bookshop for every 30 permanent inhabitants - oh joy. We are on the road at a remarkably perky 8.55. The heavy overnight rain has subsided but everywhere is dripping. Even without rain on our bodies our shoes and feet are soaked in a matter of minutes after we set out. Our sealskin socks seem to have lost their effectiveness, and boy do they smell bad after four days on the track. Today is an easier shorter walk and we are soon up a hill through farmland and then progress into the lovely open common land which was so much a feature of yesterday
We are soon up to our summit for the day Disgwylfa Hill (360m) and then too soon we descend down to Newchurch. No sooner do we arrive than we are walking back out up a steep incline onto the side of Little Mountain (357m) and back onto a small farm lane, another field. And then its another lane which is quite boring having high hedgerows on either side of us restricting any vision from the small tarmac strip in front of us. We know there is another world inside the hedgerow which will be teeming with life but unfortunately we don't know how to look and appreciate what would be a fascinating world we are sure. We come out of the lane and start descending into thick woodland with very slippery muddy paths. These are the moments in the walk which are possibly the most dangerous and we take care, especially as the rain begins to drizzle. We cross the not to busy A438 road and know that we are now getting very close to our destination. We are now by the side of the very impressive River Wye. And we have to traverse three or four large tracts of farmland
With the farmland finally behind us we are back along the very banks of the River Wye and our senses are dominated by a fragrant perfume wafting from more than 100 metres away. We are approaching a huge bank of wildflowers and their fragrance captivates us as the rain subsides and we cannot keep smiles from our faces. And then we are there, Hay-on-Wye. We go to our B&B to drop our bags and eat the sandwiches we have made for ourselves at breakfast. It's a late lunch but now we can focus on the important things. We go straight to the library and commence our beloved blog. We meet at the library a charming assistant, Jane, who delves in to look at our blog and when we return tomorrow morning will be ready with a fact sheet on the Welsh language proving that not only that their are vowels in Welsh, but that Welsh is easier to pronounce than English. Well, we're not sure about that but at least the mists surrounding this old Celtic language are beginning to part a little.
For dinner this evening we go to the Red Indigo Indian restaurant and must quickly mention that this is possibly the best Indian food we have ever eaten. If ever you get to Hay-on-Wye be sure to give this place a go.