I am sat in the place called Hey on Wye where Sun shines and all is well with the world. For the past three days my feet have shown fortitude and I am proud of them. They have strived (at my insistance) to carry the combined weight of this winters belly a full backpack and an enlarged head over 56 miles. Now the rest for the day in this quaint town and I am offered the chance to catch up on my story (in parts).
My first day was previously detailed but since then the story has grown, changed and diverged.
The Rolling Hills of Gwent
On my second day I set out late, very late actually.. The sun was past midday and a sense of urgency drove me to hurry and on I plunged into woodland, across fields and though thickets of glistening green passing countless kissing gates. Luck was not with me howeber as a disgruntled cow was the closest I came to a good snog. Still there was no reason to complain as the main of the day held little more than peace and solitary contentment.
My phone battery was almost empty making photos difficult so many of the days mysterious and wondrous sights will remain mine along. The exception being the immovable white castle, built as the Normans first secured their dominance over the region of Gwent (c.1200). Once white washed with plaster and bustling with life it now stand still and forlorn.
As time wore on but before the day ended I heard tell of ‘The Hunters Moon inn’ by a wizened old man with grey hair and a staff. Chuckling as I met him upon an old wooden bridge he spoke of an oasis of food and drink (The first in 15 miles). He warned me as my mood lightened and the image of pub food crossed my eyes that a gauntlet lay before me and it.
Puzzled but wishing him well I continued until I came across it, a steep field I which a herd of grazing cows with young calves blocked the way. No ordonary animals and Standing 7 foot tall and foaming at the mouth they appeared the most wild and vicious creatures I had ever seen. With courage and what little my feet had left I forced the way forwards taking a B-line between them.. They each stamped hooves and threatened to charge but I made myself big and clapping my poles together they backed away.
Rewarded well I sat very smelly in the small little inn as named above. I drunk and finished my food as the skies turned to dusk and the final leg began. When at last I arrived at second nights destination in the border town of Pendy it was 10.30pm.
The day had been long, seemingly endless and the almost fantastical nature of events had me wondering at what was to come.
In the morning I made sure to leave earlier and thought it the perfect opportunity to show you my equipment.
This is my home at the moment and includes a tent, mat, sleeping bag, food, clothing, medical/electrical supplies, a jet boil, water canister, flip flops, folding mat, book and toiletries. All of which fit nicely in my aged and well used light backpack.
To follow I will go on to my journey into the Black mountains which, unlike the calm meandering of the second day includes treacherous curses, wild ponies, impossible accents and dragons galour!
For now I rest well in a place I could fondly call home.