Walk completed August 28, 2011

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Day 26 -- Chepstow to St. Briavels

Today is a rest day, so the distance is only 8 miles from Chepstow along the Offa’s Dyke Path. Offa’s Dyke is an earthen berm built by King Offa between year 778 and 796 to defend his landholdings from the Welsh – kind of like a Chinese wall, only it’s not a wall. And it’s not Chinese. It runs about 150 miles. Much of it has eroded away over the 1300 years since its construction, but there remain embankments which are 20 feet high. It passes through some beautiful countryside.

The day was sunny and warm, and consequently most of the people walking today were either families with small children or teenagers in love. I did not stop any of them to question why they were out here. I did encounter several groups of climbers, but climbers are only interested in talking if somebody buys them a drink at the end of the day.

Wye River from Brockweir
Today’s walk passed through forests and pastures before settling down along the tranquil Wye River. The Wye River is tidal until Monmouth. The high and low tide differ by some 30 feet – very noticeable at the river’s mouth, but increasingly less dramatic the farther upstream you go. High tide was at 4:00 pm today, so the river was full all along the walk.

With nobody to talk to, I arrived at the B&B at 4:00 pm, which is a miracle in itself given the inadequate directions provided. In many villages, people don’t use addresses – merely the name of the house and the postal code. If I put a stamp on my forehead, I would be properly delivered, but trying to work from a map is difficult without grid coordinates. After asking several people for directions, I’ve arrived at the proper location. I’m now sitting out in the home’s lovely garden typing this posting because nobody is home. I’m not exactly sure how long I should wait before looking for something else. Of course looking for something else would be a lot easier if there were cell phone reception here. If I do get this posted, you’ll know that either the innkeeper arrived, or that I gave up and found something else. It’s OK out here in the garden, but I wonder what I would be doing if it were raining.

Update: The innkeepers arrived about 4:45 and said that there was a mix-up about my scheduled arrival time. In any event, all is well, I’ve had my shower, I’ve done my laundry, and the proprietors are going to drive me to and from the pub, which is about 2 miles away. What more could a walker want out of life?

© 2011 Ken Klug


  1. Jackie & EricJune 30, 2011 at 1:03 PM

    Ken we think you are a marvel to be walking so far after your operation. We enjoyed your stay and much more so now we are reading your blog.
    We see many people and we usually never get to know them. You are cracking the situation for us. Good walking, come and see us one day again.

  2. You are a marvel. How little we know about our guests. You have changed this situation. Your blog is great and we know so much about you. Thank you for staying with us.