Showing posts from June, 2009

Kington to Drewin Farm, north of Knighton

Kington to Knighton 13.5 miles, 1216 calories used, 9.00 to 4.30 A hard day for me for some reason. A friend who goes on a lot of distance walking holidays had told me that she always feels that she is really into her stride in the second half of the first week so I suppose I had expected to feel the same. Both Erica and I had found that we had a hot, red rash on our calves, mine practically from sock to knee, Erica's a bit more localised. Whether it was that or just a general flagging I had to work hard as we climbed out of Kington and wondered where my increasing fitness was supposed to be. Maybe it had decided to have an extra day's rest in the comfortable shabby chic of Church House. For the first time our acorns deserted us and we found two gates which were unmarked. We had been playing catch up all day with a party of five men who arrived at the first gate at the same time. Much consultation and the superfit man in too short shorts who seemed to be charging ahead of

Hay on Wye to Knighton

Burfa House Erica walks the Dyke Tuesday 2nd June no miles, no additional calories used but plenty consumed, only walking to the shops A day off, a day to read the papers, eat a sizeable breakfast, laze in the garden, half asleep in the sun. A day to wander the shops of Hay, to fantasise about buying unusual and beautiful clothes to wear with green shoes and huge earrings, as opposed to the usual tatty jeans and white t shirts. A day to resist the lure of bookshops and antique shops and anything weighing more than a plaster. Wednesday 3rd June Newchurch churchyard, welcoming walkers Hay on Wye to Kington 15 miles, 9.00 to 4.50, calories used 1215. There is nothing like a day off to make you ready to walk again. It was another hot but hazy day as we set off from Hay in the direction of Clyro. This was the parish of the Reverend Francis Kilvert who wrote a diary of his time as a vicar in this area of the Welsh borders in the 1840s. He was a passionate and kindly m

Llanvetherine to Hay on Wye

Sunday 31st May 12 miles, 9.10 to 5.00, calories used 1126 The reality of long distance walking kicked in: my blister was so enormous it was too huge for the tiny Compede plasters I had optimistically brought along and needed one of Erica's larger ones; I had skimped on the sun cream yesterday and the backs of my calves were glowing red and warm even through my walking trousers. Cover up day. The day started with the compulsory big breakfast and a fairly gentle walk to a beautiful little church, St Cadoc's. Britain is full of these beautiful ancient buildings. What will happen to them all I wonder as church attendance falls off and they become unable to sustain a congregation? I am not a religious person but a well used church has a lovely feel, peaceful, warm and sustaining. This one had an extraordinary carved beam, an amazing find in a tiny church which must always have been tucked away in its backwater. More walking on farmland took us to Pandy and then the beginn

Walking Offa's Dyke - Chepstow to Llanvetherine.

Thursday 28th May We left home in the late morning to drive down to Chepstow. The rucksack had been packed and unpacked four times to get it down to fourteen pounds, with water but without lunch! With steely determination I had reduced my clothes to three pairs of knickers, three pairs of socks, one set of clothes to walk in every day and another set to change into. With the waterproofs, sunglasses, suncream, camera, map books, first aid kit and toiletries, the pack filled up with startling speed. Toiletries had been a real struggle with a tiny toothpaste, an all purpose gel for washing body, hair and clothes and a single tiny tube of moisturiser. "Bet you have some mascara in there though," Ian said. Well of course I did, the aim was to reduce the pack to the bare necessities. Rendezvous with our friends went smoothly. That is me on the right and my friend and erstwhile colleague, Erica, on the left. We whipped out from central Chepstow to Sedbury cliffs to the official

Did it!

We did it! 182 miles and sixteen days away and we have walked the length of Wales. It might take me a day or two to find my camera among the dirty washing and the forest of weeds but I will blog about it properly when I have drawn breath. It has been totally great but isn't it wonderful to be home!

Halfway there!

Ian here - Elizabeth has asked me to report that, after six days of walking and one rest day, she and her friend have reached Knighton, the halfway point on her south-north trek up the Offa's Dyke trail. Fortunately, the weather has been fantastic - if anything too hot and sunny (I certainly thought so when I accompanied them on their first day). The second half could be 'interesting' as the weather is now definitely on the change and quite a bit of rain is heading their way. I shall leave E to tell her own stories about blisters, insect bites, prickly heat, etc. Suffice it to say that I am very proud of her achievement and looking forward to joining her in a week's time for a triumphal march into Prestatyn.