Walking the Offa’s Dyke Path

Day Eight: Trial by pain

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Wales is a beautiful

The intrepid hikers set off on the first leg of the northern section of the Offer’s Dyke Path, 17 miles from Knighton to Brompton. It rained all night and when the fab-four got up at 6:00 a.m. it was still raining. The good news was by the time they were out walking on the path it had stopped and was now only threatening to rain. In fact it rained on them once the whole day; very good luck given summertime weather in Wales. All four walked on through emerald green fields, past massive mushrooms, purple lupines, and deep green ferns. Wales is a beautiful place to walk.

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The intrepid hikers

Weeks before the team had set out to walk the path; Mary fell and had broken a rib. In true form she ignored the discomfort and chose to continue the walk. However, after three miles of hard hiking the pain began to overwhelm her. Mary struggled down her last steep and slippery hillside. Once at the road, at Seiley Hall, the very brave Mary decided she could go no further. David left the walk too and escorted her home. Both of them gave up a hike that they had been so looking forward to; everyone was terribly sad about it. After a brief rest they bid farewell to all and sped off in a taxi back to Knighton. Now only Julia and Ernest remained to master the Offer’s Dyke Path.

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Mary struggled down her last steep and slippery hillside

It was 12:30 p.m. and the remaining hikers had only traveled three miles so they knew they must step on the gas or surfer the punishment of walking in the dark. For the next 14 miles they charged up hill and down dale. In fact they climbed a total of 2,654 feet that day and descended the same before the walk was over. Going up was hard, but coming down the steep, greasy, muddy descents was even more difficult; so much so that Ernest fell many times into the black oozing mud; much to the entertainment of Julia who somehow managed to avoid the ooze.

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Farmhouse accommodation

They finally arrived at their farmhouse accommodation at 7:30 p.m. tired, happy, and glad of all the spectacular scenery they had seen. They were both so very pleased to know that Mary would be safe in her bed that night, getting better and readying herself to walk with them again soon. However, many miles of walking lay before them. Could they go on? Would they complete the Offer’s Dyke Path?

 

 

Join the intrepid hikers as they continue their adventure on the Offa’s Dyke Path.

 

Walking the Offa’s Dyke Path

Day One – 18 months later: Trial by time

Many months had passed by, but the intrepid hikers Mary, Julia, David, and Ernest where back to finish the northern section of the 182 mile walk on the Offa’s Dyke Path through England and Wales. They picked up the trail at Knighton in Wales where they had stopped so many months ago. See the pervious article for details of their last adventure.

DSCN1846The Knighton clock tower

It took six hours with a one hour stop for lunch to drive from Canterbury to Knighton. The summer weather in Canterbury was left behind and replaced by rainy skies in Wales. They zoomed past green forests on very wet roads until they left the highways for small country lanes. They drove through quaint little villages and hedge lined roads where, kites and other raptors, escorted them to their destination, the little town of Knighton.

Knighton is a small market town and community situated chiefly in Powys, Wales, within the historic county boundaries of Radnorshire. It lies on the River Teme and the town straddles the English-Welsh border.

They realized that they did not spend any time looking around the town at the end of their last walk; they had been way too tired for that. So it was nice for them to take a look around the lovely little village. They spent their first day on the northern section of the path preparing for the next week of walking.

The weather prediction was for rain, rain, more rain, followed by rain. Ernest heard thunderclaps as he waited in his room on his first evening of the walk. It turns out there is more annual rain in July in Wales than in January. Their last adventure had them walk the southern part of the path from Chepstow to Knighton in mid-winter. They had encountered horrible conditions, wind, cold, mud, floods, but they had not encountered much rain. However, it looked like their luck had change on this part of their walk on the Offa’s Dyke Path.

 

 

Join the intrepid hikers as they continue their adventure on the Offa’s Dyke Path.