Total so far: 383.0 miles
Percentage Completed: 22.9%
(Click map to enlarge)
Dr. Ashton met me for breakfast at my B&B - which was one major effort having travelled down from Yorkshire.
The Offa's Dyke Guide Book admits that today's walk is probably the highlight of this National Trail. I have to agree. The climbs are not spine melting and the views are top drawer; the walk beautifully crafted to offer droolingly wanton views at every bend in the track.
The days is watery sunshine with misty vistas, letting your imagination to complete every view. Buzzards and skylarks provide the backing track, with lambs and careful mothers providing the scene shifting.
After a while, we pause to take in the wonderful scenery and Ali declares it is time for lunch.
She produces from her little rucksack: Smoked peppered salmon with fresh lemons, cream cheese, cos lettuce, bread rolls balsamic dressing followed by fresh fruit salad and fruit cake. This was accompanied by a chilled (!) bottle of champagne and a platypus of chilled Chablis.
It was one of those 'Gone to Heaven with a Gold Card' moments. Four chaps doing Kington to Knighton happened upon us as we were sipping champagne and wonderfully donated five pounds to the cause.
Ali packed up, and set off to return to her car, and so I plodded on, marvelling at the human spirit so alive in the chosen few!
I sauntered over the next beautiful hill and on my descent a shady character popped out of the bushes and took my picture walking down the dyke. Incredibly, it was Steve Smith, freshly back from a business trip to Italy and having driven 120 miles to accidentally bump into me!
Steve is a luminescent guy that brightens every chance meeting. His last TGO Challenge had been a minor epic, and he was assisted greatly by Ali & Sue on their crossings. He has been in quite a nasty accident with a European truck (don't you just love them?) and still need physio to sort his back out. He very gamely managed the next few hills with me before he had to return to his car, to go to a 'real world out there' party back home this evening.
What a splendid day, passing through magnificent border countryside.
I have to say - the most beautiful part of the walk so far.
Sloping down the hill into Knighton, I pass the golf Course, with chaps in fine sweaters and shiny shafted clubs that catch the late afternoon sunlight. It doesn't seem to be on my planet, so I make my way quietly into the backdoor of Knighton to find a shop that sells envelopes to send guidebooks home, and then slip into the quiet George & Dragon for a couple of pints of the Reverend James.
I read in the paper that Jade Goody has had her breasts enlarged, so all is well with the real world out there.