Offas Dyke is a tough walk. Grown men cry. And stop walking. H’s Uncle Bill had a friend who stopped walking after 3 days and had to be taken home. We hear of experienced walkers of the world, doctors even(!) who have found this hard. We have found this hard. We’ve averaged 15+ miles a day over welsh hills and mountains in mixed weather.
It’s very remote and not particularly well served. Much of the accommodation was nondescript. One host described Welshpool as ‘not what it was’. It was nice enough. i bought a hat. i didn’t expect to in late May but i am glad i did.
This is the first wifi I’ve had in a while. We met very few people. Many we’re doing in chunks of five or seven days which makes us very grateful to have nearly a fortnight to just walk.
It is hard walking but contrary to popular belief we’re not Amazons. I generally ache at the end of the day in the usual places: knees, feet, shoulders. i groan when i see another punishing rise. I get very hot and red faced going uphill which there’s a lot of. Everest you remember? We both go a bit quiet at 3pm when it becomes clear there’s further to go than we imagined. We both fall upon tasty food when it arrives. The unexpected shepherd’s hut cafe on Moel Famau, for example. The Marks and Spencer cafe in Prestatyn this afternoon. But we enjoy the rubbish food too, if we approach it with good humour. We’re generally in bed by 7.30 when the sun is shining outside and sleep pretty well which helps our tired bones mend, as I’ve written before.
We laugh a lot. And we have what H calls a no blame culture. So each of us has made mistakes with the map, chosen crap food or accommodation, but what’s done cant be undone so what’s the use of whining or sulking?
We just enjoy the challenge and the freedom of having only one thing to do that day. Walk to the next place.
I can’t get my pics to upload – maybe the bandwidth is too narrow. Wouldn’t surprise me. Lots of these paths have been too narrow. The menus are limited. Beds are single. You can tell I am tired.
Walking into Prestatyn was no Santiago experience. It was full of Brits doing Bank Holiday things: lots of noise, cars, people, smells. It was difficult after the stark simplicity of the hills. But we threw our stones collected at Sedbury Cliffs into the sea and took the obligatory selfie.
Look a little tired and perplexed? Yes I feel it.
We walked from the Severn Estuary to the Irish Sea up an entire country. Next time someone uses the expression ‘the size of Wales’ I’ll have some idea just how big that is.