Walking 1004.9 miles from John O'Groats to Lands end in aid of Accommodation Concern! (starts august 3rd 2014)

Monday, 22 September 2014

Day-46 The last border crossing

Last night's B&B was a good and needed move , I really needed to eat like I did, once more the calories had been too few for the exertion in the last few days. Now though I'm seeing the problem a lot sooner, should have it sorted by the time I finish! Lol
Away from the castle inn and I disappear into the morning mist following a route through town that I'd looked at over new year, recognise the church Ruth or JP ??
Very atmospheric in the mist.
From Usk the road naturally climbs up a steep hill, gotta love these valleys!!! The road degenerates into a rocky byway which in turn becomes a sunken lane before reaching the hill top. A few turns and the tarmac reappears before I climb a stile and attempt to follow a path to priory farm. Without the GPS I'd have been walking in circles here. Thank goodness for tech! Although it didn't help with finding one path where I eventually scrambled up a steep slope with the aid of trees and roots to haul me up! Through another overgrown byway and I hit B roads , I'm making good time on the roads and I reach Mynydd Bach in time for a lunchtime beer , back on the roads to Chepstow where I restock meths for the stove.
While here I have another radio interview even now it feels surreal to be sitting in some housing estate and talking to Northamptonshire!!

From Bulwark (the estate) I find the footpath that goes the length of the M48's bridge over the river Severn and finally out of Wales into England. on the far bank at Aust I reach the path I followed on my lejog this is the first time I've crossed my 2010 route since John O'groats! Sticking with the old path for a mile until I'm about half way between the two Severn bridges where I find a nice out of the spot for tonight's camp. With views of the sun setting over the river to complete the day.

Day-45 The Skirrid and beyond

Similar to the day from Hay, today started with a long steep uphill, this one though was long over due. The Skirrid (holy mountain) is a hill that I've long wanted to climb it's a small ish but impressive lump from the north, with extremely steep sides and a long ridge descent to the south. Naturally I get the steep climb! But it was so worth it! Due to it's small peak the Skirrid gives a stunning 360 degree view of the black mountains, long town valley, England and on a clear day the Severn estuary, not quite clear enough for that today with the slight autumnal haze, but a beautiful day none the less! . walking down the ridge I get chatting to a fellow hiker who informs that after the war Rudolf Hess was incarcerated in what is now Abergavenny hospital and he was used to exercise by walking up the Skirrid with his guards, not such a bad life!.
Away from the hill across pleasant farm land to a very unused byway which I had to hack my way through, but just about passable. At llanddewi Rhydderch I join the number 42 cycle route for an easy road stretch to Abberffrwd and then on to the Esk valley way for a long gentle walk along the river to Usk passing the now inevitable Himalayan balsam that's taken over our river banks for most Britain that I've seen. Can't say I'm too fond of its sickly sweet smell!.
At Usk I restock provisions and head to the private campsite at Usk castle who had previously arranged access for me, though with no one about and nobody answering the phone I didn't feel comfortable just setting up here, so into town again and a B&B was booked for the night at The Castle Inn.