Total so far: 410.8 miles
Percentage Completed: 24.6%
(Click map to enlarge)
The guide book raved about the views I would be seeing today, but Wales was having none of it; there was thick mist all day which scuppered everything. So with no views, I plugged through the immediate countryside whistling to the sheep.
Number 30 was a contrary sheep and followed me like a dog at heel for three fields until the stile finished her off. She was lonely, looking for someone to tell her troubles to, but I was not her soul mate. I told her all about Wilkinson and his special ways with sheep, but she bleated back that Wilkinson was a mythical being, a legend handed down ewe to lamb over countless generations and that one day he WILL return to dominate and pleasure the flocks once more. It is written.
I left Thirty alone with her fantasies before cutting down to Forden for an uncomfortable pint in the empty pub with a cheese and ham sandwich for company.
I was soon neck deep in a hot bath at my B&B in Welshpool.
Welshpool: Now here's a place!
“Welshpool”: The name conjures up images of swirling mists over pools beset with wild flowers, crows and buzzards calling overhead. Perhaps some ancient druid singing incantations holding a staff of gnarled old yew, with a flowing white beard.
The reality is somewhat more prosaic. You enter town passing a gypsy encampment with two yobs beating up a good-looking blonde girl at the roadside and ordering her back to the caravan, where there are very large dogs straining against metal chains anchored to something solid (I hoped). The immediate squalor around their home is then transferred to a pudding factory of gigantic proportion (Sidoli's of Shrewsbury - strange, it being Welshpool).
Leaving my B&B for the high spots this evening, the main street is a strange affair - once quite prosperous, the pubs now look like they cater for the young dispossessed, trying to screw the last shillings from track-suited youths with skin problems.
Why has ten years of this government done so little for our future generations? We are now building super-casinos to further rob them of their future, while assuring everyone that everything is fine and dandy and that the 4x4's will be taxed some more.
So that's all right then.
All politicians should be made to visit Welshpool - an outwardly prosperous place, but whose soul is sinking into the River Severn's deepest mud banks.