Weather: hazy ☀️
So Far: 751.83 miles, 246:12 hours
A nice leisurely start after a very pleasant haddock and poached eggs combo – a top 10 breakfast. By the time I left Kington, the clog-maker was hard at it – clogging I suppose – and the local shop was open for the local people; (“Are you local? We’ll have no trouble here.! There’s nothing for you here” etc…).
For the steady climb up onto Hergest (pronounced ‘harguest’) Ridge, an area of common land of 130 hectares (and also the title of Mike Oldfield’s second album apparently), a mist gave some relief from the sunshine but not the heat – I was very quickly back to full-sweat mode, albeit in a fresh shirt. By the time I stopped at the top to take in the obscured views and watch the kites catching the thermals, the harsh sun was starting to burn off the haze.
The straight-forward walk over the gentle hills was on farmland and rural roads where there were as many walkers as vehicles. The sun was soon back to its piercing hottest and shade was scarce. There was a pleasant, cooling break at the refreshment table at St Mary’s church in Newchurch where I had two welcome pints of barley lemon squash. No sign of Offa’s or anyone else’s dyke today.
The last few miles were a gentle drop into the Wye valley and a riverside walk into Hay, the only one of the Marches towns that I’ve visited before.
I’m staying in a B&B above a book shop (what else?!). Tomorrow I meet Guy and Jo and the day’s walk starts with a steady five mile climb to 703 metres, the highest point on the trail. Thank heavens the forecast is cooler!