Walk completed August 28, 2011

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Day 25 -- Rest Day in Chepstow

Today was my forced rest day. Unfortunately, my two nights in Chepstow were not at the same location, so I needed to carry my backpack for a good part of the day as I toured the village. There is a fair in nearby Glastonbury and a race in nearby Cardiff. There was also a festival in Chepstow. As a result, every single room had been booked. I had been fortunate to find a room for Friday on late notice. Di Swales, at Sherpa Van, always seems to be able to magically find me a space at the last minute. I now have her working on Pennine Way accommodations, and as we are moving into the high season, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that her magic will continue.

Chepstow Castle
My day was first spent attending to business details, like topping up my mobile phone credits and mailing used maps to George. Then I toured Chepstow Castle. Initially built in 1068, right after the Norman Conquest, the castle was expanded in the mid-13th century, and had final remodeling in the 15th century. Since then it has undergone maintenance and conservation, but no new features have been added. The time scale is as meaningful to me as being told that the Grand Canyon was carved 5 million years ago. I’ve heard it told that the human mind is capable of truly comprehending a time scale of only 2 generations older and 2 generations younger than the present. Even that is pushing it for me.

After touring the castle, I sat on a bench in the village square while deciding on something else to do. At that particular moment, a parade marched by. I’m not exactly sure what was being celebrated, but it was fun to watch.

Mags (holding rooster Ivor) and Bob
I then walked the mile to tonight’s B&B, hoping that the proprietors would allow me to leave my pack so I could further explore Chepstow without that burden. Unfortunately, they weren’t home. Fortunately, their neighbors, Bob and Mags, came by at that very moment. They invited me into their home for coffee and conversation, and allowed me to store my pack with them until I had finished exploring Chepstow.

Old bridge over River Wye

Back so soon?
 Surprisingly, as I crossed the River Wye outside of Chepstow, I returned from Wales to England. I’ll be in England for at least the next two days until the Offa’s Dyke Path again crosses the River Wye and I return to Wales.

Parade characters Karen and Hannah

© 2011 Ken Klug


  1. Boy, do I relate! Don Gray also most kindly intercepted me, in my case just south of the Severn bridge. Tomorrow, you will enjoy the steep hill heading north out of Chepstow, and will be discovering the signs in Welsh. If you go through Monmouth, the place NOT to stay is the Queen's Head. Much enjoying your blog!


  2. Hi Ken,
    How I envy you! Except on those windy, rainy days. Your blog is so well done that I can almost walk along with you each day. I'm soaking it up, which explains why I'm still a week behind (in reading your blogs.) Not sure I want to catch up. If I don't, I'll be on the trail a week longer after you finish.
    Dave Pehlke

  3. Well deserved rest, seems like you enjoyed your rest. Have fun!