Total so far: 332.2 miles
Percentage Completed: 19.9%
(Click map to enlarge)
Great Tre-rhew Farm is just past White Castle on my route. It is heaven of a sort and also hell. I was not going to have any wheeled transport on this walk of mine, but having staggered in here, Trevor exclaimed I needed a pint. The nearest local was The Three Salmon, two miles or so away and so after a sheep-dip bath, I guiltily climbed into the passenger seat of his 4x4 (Don't you just love them? Did Gordon punish the farmers?) and was transported in considerable style to the pub, where I met Stephen (headmaster) Keith (plumber) and George (the man who reared the fillet steak and his brother who butchered it) and Roger who pulled the excellent pints.
I tried all the beers and enjoyed one more than the others, but cannot for the life of me remember which was which. I laughed all evening, sitting in front of the woodburner but was saddened to hear that Roger will not be open much longer Such a shame. The good beer was 'Butty' something or other.
But back to the start of the day.
I bimbled along quite well in the afternoon and made White Castle in good time - what an amazingly atmospheric place, had a scout around and then made my way down by field paths to the farm.
Another excellent day. Tomorrow is big again - I have been given my orders for the pubs to visit in Hay by the boys in the pub tonight. So - an early start will be vital!
Having stopped short of my intended target the previous day due to the YHA's incompetence, I decided to stroll today's additional miles up the Wye from Brockweir - a good plan on paper that did not take into account the high tide of the Wye. The path at Brockweir was a good two feet under water, so I opted to leg it up the 'A' road to the next river crossing and then follow the Wye Valley Way to Monmouth. A good plan.
The Wye was sensational. The river was the colour of full-fat plumptious virgin olives. The sky was an impossible blue, the grass an emerald green. The river slid, rolled and galloped past me, sunlight catching the edges of the eddies and dazzled against the dark rocks that sat solidly mid stream. Swans preened and displayed, siskins burst from hedgerows in huge gangs and buzzards soared, prowling overhead, their under-colours dazzling in the sunlight.
It was a perfect morning.
Monmouth was Monmouth: Okay, but having a hard time. The lunchtime pub was geared for the pensioner trade, and I felt awkward. Only one reasonable beer. I chose the wrong pub. But I was on my way within an hour, having written post cards to Mum and the pub (honestly, in that order!)