Walk completed August 28, 2011

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Day 27 -- Monday, June 27, 2011; St. Briavels to Llanvetherine

Redbrook from the footpath
Today’s walk promised to be a long one – 22 miles to be exact. I got an early start, and although the walk started out through dense forest, the day was already hot and humid, with no air movement. In about an hour I had arrived at Redbrook, dripping wet. I stopped at a convenience store and bought a cold sports drink and just sat on the bench to cool down. I also took the time to telephone tonight’s lodging to advise that there was no way that I could possibly reach the destination before dark, and alerted them that they would need to pick me up. Anne said that I should just call them when necessary, but most walkers arrive about 6:00 – so I shouldn’t be worried about getting there before dark. I told her that I was old, the weather is hot and muggy, and I move at my own pace – and that I would call her to advise of the pick-up point.

Colin, Bob and Brian
From Redbrook, the trail followed the River Wye all the way to Monmouth. Upon crossing the Wye River Bridge into Monmouth, I once again entered Wales, this time to stay until Saturday. Along the way, I met Colin, Bob and Brian, three Brits who were walking Offa’s Dyke. They had stayed at tonight’s destination two nights ago, which emphasized in my mind the distance I had to cover in one day. In Monmouth I bought a pint of milk, 2 sports drinks, and a sandwich for lunch. Considering the heat and humidity, I hoped I had enough liquids to keep me vertical on the trail. As is my custom in large villages, I got lost trying to get out of Monmouth. Retracing my steps cost me a good 20 minutes.

Path through cornfield
Once back on the trail, I found the route easy to follow. Unlike some of the other footpaths I’ve followed, the Offa’s Dyke Path is well marked (once out of the city), and you really do need to try hard to lose the trail. I tried hard only once, resulting in only a 5 minute detour.

Path through apple orchard
Outside of Monmouth, the wind picked up and I was hit with a smattering of rain. More importantly, the temperature dropped dramatically. No longer walking in a sauna, I walked comfortably in the rain in my T-shirt. As a result, my pace increased, and I arrived at the B&B at 6:30. I would have been on time had I not gotten lost twice. Darn.

© 2011 Ken Klug

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