I was up just after 5 to finish the blog and upload pictures. Unfortunately it took me a couple of hours to get everything uploaded, but at least I was done before breakfast! And I could here Andy toiling away in the kitchen - another early riser.
I got Lara and Jonah up a little after 8 AM so we could be ready for our breakfast at 8:30 AM. We had a standard English breakfast, but Andy did a more traditional bean option, which we haven’t had before. He put the beans on the toast - delicious! We will definitely be taking that idea home with us!
By the time we were packed up and ready to go it was about 10 AM - we couldn’t get into our next accommodations until after 3 pm so we were in no rush for an early start.
Though the rain kept a distance this morning, the puddles were in full force - some were even so large that they had inhabitants!
And mud pits were everywhere!
The first 6 miles today were flat - we spent much of it paralleling the River Severn.
While it wasn’t hilly, it was still difficult. Mentally it felt even more challenging than hills. We had to watch each step for the puddles, mud, and animal poop. And we also had to go through many fields that had not been cut, so we had to take higher steps than normal.
And our pants and shoes still got soaked!
We still had some beautiful mountains to look at.
However, the quarrying has had a major impact on some of the aesthetics as well as ecosystem.
We occasionally got a break from the unplowed fields, and were grateful for these stretches.
But more often than not, the break was to a field of mud instead of a field of mowed grass! (
And today was definitely more of a cow day than a sheep day. They tended to be right on the dyke with us.
We did see our quota of sheep though. And this group reminded me of our cats Mo and Toby. Mo spends a part of most days resting his head on Toby’s back like this.
We did have some light rain, but nothing worth putting rain clothes on for. And then after 6 blah miles, we joined back with the Montgomery canal.
While we spent too much time doing canal walking on our last C2C4C hike across Scotland, we were thrilled to get on the canal today and away from the tall grass and mud.
We didn’t have to watch where we were stepping. We set a nice pace, enjoyed the scenery, and listened to Lara finish her retelling of the movie, Arctic.
We started to get a bit tired after mile 8, so took a quick break.
And then after walking for three miles on the canal, we crossed back over the border into England.
At this point it was 1 pm and we were a bit hungry and tired so we took a 15-minute snack break. Jonah had a jam sandwich that we had made with the leftover breakfast toast while Lara and I split a Macro bar.
Right after our snack break, we had our first climb of the day.
We climbed about 300 feet up on a paved road and then through a wooded trail.
We came to the remains of a Welsh Brake Drum House from the early 1800s. It was used for moving rock-filled trucks up and down the mountain. For us, it just served as the beautiful spot for photos.
And a perfect location for a few handstands!
And then we continued on our way up the trail.
All was dandy until about 2:30 when the rain came. While we have had light showers almost every day, this is only the second heavy rain we’ve experienced so far. It started on one of our ascents up a farm road.
But we did have moments of in which it subsided too.
We alternated between road and pastures/fields at this point.
As we approached the nature preserve known as Jone’s Rough, we saw this sign, which reminded Jonah of one of his favorite Duke players!
Then it was back to climbing muddy farm tracks.
But the rain and mud couldn’t dampen my spirits - it was still a glorious day. I’d say that about any day I can be outside with my family.
And then we started our final descent toward the town of Trefonen, through fields and over streams.
We made it to our lodging for the night shortly after 3:30 PM.
Since the Dingle Cottage only has one room with two twin beds, Lara and Jonah stayed here. We all went in for some tea and a snack before I headed a few doors down to a neighbor who was putting me up for the night. After showers and some rest, I walked back over to the Dingle Cottage for dinner. The owner/host, Pam also happens to be a caterer. She had checked with the local pub and had not been satisfied with the vegan options so she made us a fabulous dinner - bulgar salad with other vegetables, sour dough bread.
And to finish things off she had made a coconut yogurt dessert with raspberries.
After days of chips and pizza, this was a bit too healthful for Jonah so I went to the local store and got him some Pringles, bananas, and peanut butter! With how well he’s been handling himself, he deserves to eat whatever he wants.
We got to speak to Olivia via FaceTime just after dinner. Her stomach is doing better and she is starting to get her energy back - all good news! I then said goodnight to my hiking partners and went back to my lodging to write my daily blog, watch a little TV, and get a good night’s sleep.
Distance: 14.68 miles
Time: 5 hours 00 minutes
Average Speed: 2.9 mph;
Total Ascent: 1,417 feet
Total Descent: 1,026feet