Offa’s Dyke days 1-3

A lovely walk despite torrential rain on day1. Chepstow to Monmouth 18.5 miles

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Not the most glamourous pic of me but you get the idea. Drenched.

A no photo day as we dared not lift our heads to see the view for fear of drowning or ruining our phones. At 3pm we decided to get a taxi for the last few miles and waited dripping self consciously in a Spar shop munching fruit and nut chocolate: the big bar. But from what I remember through the falling rain and rising mist the scenery was lovely.

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Day 2 Monmouth to Pandy 16.75 miles over beautiful hill and stunning dale and only met two people all day. A couple from Montreal who helped us out with their GPS system and we helped them by pointing out the acorns which mark the path. Nice and reciprocal. Oh and Michael Helen’s son who landed like a drone from Hunger Games bearing our lunch from Waitrose. Long story, but basically the promised pub was closed.

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Too tired to write much but birdsong, bluebells and wild garlic everywhere. This is the most unspoilt part of the UK I’ve ever been to apart from Scotland.

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And tonight after a monster and windblown romp over the Black Mountains -17.5 miles steep ascent and precipitous descent and a long stomp on the ridge in between – we are glowing gently with wellbeing in a friendly cake filled B and B with a hostess who addressed us as my angels. We are in Hay on Wye, a pretty place though marred by hurdy gurdy music from a travelling fair. That sounds rather Hardyesque – all pigs and bonnets. Its not. More like roller coasters and sad goldfish. Whatever joys of Hay, they are lost to us as we are already tucked up in bed.

On the way today I did wonder “why am I doing this?” It is arduous and my feet hurt a bit. We have another washing strewn room and everything feels a bit grubby. But it’s so liberating having so few possessions, so little to look after. To be really thirsty, really hungry, really tired. First world problems- we are sated with stuff. Without the stuff Helen and I have time to do the one thing in front of us: walk, talk, eat. And now rest.

Everyone has been kind and helpful. Bringing forward breakfast by and an hour or more to accommodate our early starts. Swapping a full English breakfast for a very decent packed lunch. All our rooms have had good showers and clean white linen. I feel very blessed. And very tired. Good night.

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