Llanymynech to Prestatyn
You can walk over it and we did, no wobbles!
You meet all sorts of people when you are walking and most people stop and chat. We loved the fact that we met so few who were walking the whole of the Offa's Dyke walk. It made us feel special! This morning we met a couple who were walking the Northern end from Prestatyn to Knighton. She was carrying a tiny wooden handled umbrella and no pack. He had a small pack supplemented by a Marks and Spencer carrier bag. It takes all sorts.
Froncysyllte brought the only disappointing B and B of the walk in a house so cluttered with a mixture of beautiful and terrible things that we did not know where to look. A yappy dachshund bounced and snapped at my heels in the kitchen. With tremendous self control I did not kick it.
Friday 12 June
Froncysyllte to Llandegla
12 miles, 1072 calories used, 8.45 to 3.30
This was a day of two halves with a great morning only marred by a slightly dodgy breakfast with scrambled eggs so watery they may not have contained any egg at all but might have been concocted from custard powder and lukewarm water. The breakfast and the yapping dogs were soon left behind though and we climbed up above Llangollen with views first of Castell Dinas Bran and then climbing ever higher to a stretch which the guide book suggested needed good balance.
We stopped for lunch at World's End, which sounds a harsh and unlovely place but was in fact very beautiful high in the forest with a stream rushing and jumping down the hillside.
The afternoon was different: high barren moorland where we walked on duck boards above peaty bogs followed by a long descent through a conifer forest supplying wood for paper making, utterly dark, utterly devoid of birdsong, an industrial wasteland masquerading as a wood.
But then Llandegla and a welcome bench outside the post office, Ian arriving with the car to whisk us home and my own bed, my own shower, the garden so thronging with the weeds of the past fortnight it was important not to look. After all the walk was not yet done.
Saturday 13th June
Llandegla to home
16 miles, 1387 calories used, 9.00 to 5.50 and more up and down and up again than you could shake a stick at.
The big day - up and out from Llandegla and then along the Clwydian range, hard walking the guidebook said but it was all familiar, to me at least, as I had done all my practice wallking up here. And so beautiful and so familiar and this was really the day for walking home.
I loved this day, all of it, up the hills through the heather and whinberry and over the springy grass on the ridge. I loved the huge views out across the Vale of Clwyd and the point when I could just see our house far away , clinging to the side of its valley, just seen through the trees. I loved it even when by half past four my feet cried to be let out of their boots. I loved eating my sandwiches, made by Ian with our own home made bread.
I loved the great swell of Moel Arthur and the other Bronze and Iron Age hillforts which make up the ridge. I even loved the swarms of people climbing Moel Famau because they all melted away as we carried on along the ridge, leaving us still walking and the sky larks sang and the wind blew warm.
Coming into our kitchen, hot and tired at the end of the day was a great thing.
Sunday 14th June
Home to Prestatyn
15 miles, 1399 calories used, 7 hours of walking
Now in my head I had really finished when I came through the kitchen door the day before so it was a bit of a trial to drag myself away from home and carry on walking, which was, unbelievably, necessary as of course the long distance path finishes in Prestatyn and not at my house.
It was a hot day and a long one, enlivened by Chris's company but still a long, hot slog out to the sea.
But eventually we could see the sea.
And we made it.
We used these.
It is a fabulous walk. If you are at all interested I would say do it. Beautiful, varied, full of buttercup meadows and high hills and curious cows, it shows you that it is indeed to possible to walk the length of a country (or at least this country), every step under your own steam. Fantastic.