Feeling Today: 👍 🏉😧
So Far: 808.63 miles, 264:07 hours
The enlarged walking party – five of us now – met after breakfast and made a prompt ascent out of Monmouth, whilst trying to track the All Blacks versus British Lions score – disappointing. At the Round House, a National Trust property on an area called The Kymin, we enjoyed a fine panorama over Monmouth. Jo left us here to pick up the car and meet us at Tintern Abbey.
It’s 35 years since we met at Exeter. Haven’t changed a bit …. Breathe in!
We climbed up and down the valley sides a couple of times before settling on following the river’s edge and crossing the Wye from east to west into Tintern. It was unclear at what point we’d departed from the Offa’s Dyke trail as there’s a myriad of paths. There were also plenty of other walkers, Himalayan Balsam and horseflies – horrible things!
We chose the liveliest day in Tintern I suspect, with the village annual fete in full flow. We joined in by having lunch.
And then there was one; Jo and Guy, Basil and Paul said and woofed goodbye and took the A466 into Chepstow and home. A solitary walker again (briefly), and after a quick look at the ruined abbey (Cistercian order of white-robed monks founded in 1131, finished off by Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries), from Tintern I walked down the western side of the Wye valley for the last six miles or so.
The promised viewpoints didn’t materialise or were obstructed by trees, with the exception of that at The Giant’s Cave, but this was enough to reveal the magnificence of the Wye valley.
Another good vantage point gave a super view of the approaching castle at Chepstow, with the original Severn bridge in the background. I’ll be going across that in the back of a taxi tomorrow morning!
The Famous Five Go Wild on the Wye! We tried to remember who made up the Famous Five; there was a girl; there was a dog; there was a Dick who always wore shorts – (at least one ….) I think we rather looked the part, didn’t we ?!
As I leave Wales, and in response to requests, it’s perhaps worth looking back at the meagre collection of woodpiles I’ve seen here. It’s all been pretty poor and not a scratch on those I saw in Scotland, now several weeks ago.
Woodpiles aside, Wales has been fantastic and I would recommend the Offa’s Dyke trail to everyone. Chepstow on a Saturday night was buzzing and if you come here make sure you eat at the Mint and Mustard; I recommend the Syrian Beef and Massalla Okra!
Tomorrow I’ll be back in England and having two nights with Genevieve in Bristol – I’m really starting to feel I’m on the home leg! Well, both legs.