(Blogging when there’s chance but currently a few stages ahead of when this was first written)
Cider in the sun as we lounge well rested from the days stroll. That’s the story Of the present, sat outside the Golden Lion Inn at Four crosses. Time, company, battery and signal has been limited of late with the last chance i have had to write was after the Black Mountains.
As I type now the total distance done is approximately 122 miles. My feet are well and my mind set on the path before me, admiring the views that come daily enjoyed from blissfull oasis.
So, after the Black Mountains the path led into the heart of the Welsh Marches.
Here the journey turned unusual to say the least… I walked to Kington passing many small hamlets and taking free tea from the local parish church. In Kington there was little of note but for old buildings, a hostel and rain before Offa’ s motenre-emerged from the landscape.
Over the hills the trail led into blustery winds and wet weather as the Welsh Marches arrived. An almost wild land where the dyke comes into it’s own. As bleak as the day was at least a single picture could show it
When you look at this, see the history over 1200 years ago. As a drunken moot of eldermen a landlords met to decided to build it. one can only imagine the laughter as a dyke was suggested.
So this ancient structure continued into the deep valleys and across the rolling hills and so did my wandering feet. This was untill normality was brought to a swift end.
Seeking refuge in a local woodland meandered off the path pondering the world in high spirits as I was. Suddenly the ground fell beneath my feet and as the word turned upside down I found myself in a ditch, dark and foreboding.
In time, laughter was heard from the gap of forest light above as hooded figures made quick movements. The language I recognised as Welsh but the bump to my head prevented much else. In moments I was unconscious.
The next couple of days were a blur but involved countless matches across difficult terrain. All the while I was blindfolded, aware only of the strange voices and company I presumed to be fellow captives.
At last when the second night beckoned, freedom was granted in a most unusual way. The ground about our camp rumbled and quivered as shouts akin to a cavalry charge grew louder. Chaos erupted and a scuffle broke out as our captors where scattered and gone.
Making the most of the distraction I loosened the the rope that bound my hands and removed the blindfold. Four others sat beside me equally confused, captive and bound. Finding a knife I was able to free them and we ran, far and fast.
Catching us up a noble looking fellow by the name of Lord Mellington caught us up. With a cheerful greeting he made us welcome at this nearby home, a days walk conveniently located on the dyke beyond the Shropshire hills.
So off we went as group, chatting and building what became lasting bonds. The day turned out to be the hardest hike so far despite the beautiful Shropshire hills it proved a vicious challenge. Ascending and decending steeply in an endless procession of torment they left each of us exhausted.
Thankfully the day was made well with site of the great hall where we made camp.
We had power, washing facilities and good showers to renew and reflect. The ground where spectacular and the beer cold, most welcome as sore feet relaxes at last.
The evening was filled with laughter and cheers as our bellys were stuffed and muscles mellowed. I met a good family of friends that day, a Scouse, a Dutchman and a Calafornian couple.
Sleep came as gratitude filled our hearts, sunburn stinging I cared little and was out like a light. The next day our journey continued…