Day 5 of 14 done and I loved it! Ok full disclosure it was a LONG 27km that took me over 8hrs to complete and the last couple of kilometers along the canal and then through Welshpool city to town centre seemed to take FOREVER … but what an easy walking, long stride, sunny day!
I started the day with sunglasses on and a climb through grassy sheep filled fields to the top of Moelydd at 934feet. A nice little warm up to the day – a little yoga and stretching may or may not have occurred at the top.
From there the path moved into some fantastic forest walking. A little dark, soft underfoot, sounds muted and another very steep and long climb up to the Llanymynech Rocks Nature Reserve. Such a great section of the trail and oddly some of it was along a golf course!
The only downside – I was clearly the first person through the forest this morning. I was glittering with webs by the time I made it through and had to send a few 8 legged hitch hikers on their way. Free loaders!
As I came down from the Reserve I was surprised to be welcomed to England! I knew the Offa’s Dyke crossed the border a few times but just felt odd to actually experience being in Wales one minute and England the next! And no one asked for my passport of vaccine proof lol.
The next bit was a couple hours walking the canal. This section is ‘dead flat’ as per my guide book and the entertainment was all the different tunnels/bridges.
From canal to cattle … I spent the next couple of hours walking a very, very, very long grassy embankment through so many livestock fields. The benefit of sheep – they are cute and move for you. The downside of cattle – they are also kinda cute but you move for them. This can add both a lot of steps and a lot of thistles and stinging nettles to your day as as you try and find ways to give them a wide berth. I felt like they were on my path EVERY TIME!
Along the embankment section I met a couple of ladies who where from England and walking the Path but crazy enough had lived in Vancouver for 20 years as nannies! I also met Al (an older American gentlemen who may also be doing the Cotswold next) and is the very same walker I was asked to say hello to by Bruce (an older English / Australian) who I met on the Path yesterday. What a network!
Now back to canal … I finished the day with a couple more hours on the canal. While maybe a bit monotonous there are some benefits – like a bench every once and a while for a snack or to throw the throbbing feet up for a wee bit.
Highlight of the day? This wee guy peeking at me as I was walking along the canal! I wanted to just cuddle and keep him so bad. Cute!!
I wrapped up in Welshpool at the 300 year old Royal Oak Inn that I am sure is haunted… but I enjoy my large glass of wine so I sleep like a baby and then wait to Google ‘ghosts of Royal Oak Inn’ tomorrow when I am already well on my way!
Speaking of tomorrow, I am off to Lower Cym and staying at the Offa’s Dyke Path B&B right on the Path. My last waking day before a rest day.