Weather: 🌤 then 🌥
Feeling Today: 😅😛🍺✔️(in need and deserving of a pint)
So Far: 654.63 miles, 213:26 hours
Today was a long day – the furthest I’ve walked and that I will walk on this adventure, I think. A dry mushroom omelette and some wayward navigation to get out of Whitchurch wasn’t a good start…. I could have traced my steps back to Grindley Brook to pick up the Maelor Way but instead cut across country. It was six miles before I saw a Maelor Way sign.
Very early in the day, and without any signs or warnings, I found myself in Wales. “Yr wyf yn awr yng Cymru”. As you can see from the map, I temporarily returned to England later in the afternoon.
Whereas I’d recommend the Sandstone Trail to anyone fancying a weekend’s walking, I don’t have the same enthusiasm for the Maelor Way unfortunately. It lacks a raison d’être, offers few viewpoints, and struggles to be more than simply a route for getting from Whitchurch to Chirk. In places it’s poorly sign-posted and its paths, gates and stiles are frequently overgrown – this made the walk hard work at times. My £1 guide book from the Council would have been as much use if it had been in Welsh ….
The walking involved several miles on rural lanes and traversing the fields in between, and later on followed the course of the river Dee. I went through the pretty village of Hanmer and stopped in the less pretty Penley for an uncharacteristic lunch-time waffle (with ice cream and tinned peaches) at an excellent community cafe.
I’m pleased I’ve got a short walk tomorrow, joining Offa’s Dyke, as I suspect I might feel a bit stiff after my marathon. Bob, another retired waster, who’s been visiting a friend up here has joined me this evening for dinner and for the walk in the morning.