The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Thursday 8 May 2008


(written Wednesday)

A few public thank yous are due.

Firstly to Adrian and Deborah, who we had never met before but who offered us a bed for the night last Friday.

A bed is far from the only thing we got. Having been picked up from Easton in Gourdano, they took us the scenic, sight-seeing route back to their house, where they gave us not only a bed for the night but also a meal, as much hot water as we could use and the use of their washing machine (bliss - clean trousers for the first time in weeks!).

Having probably bored them silly with our walking talk all evening, we had a very comfortable night.

The following morning they starred again. Up before 5am, they had breakfast cooked and laid out for us at 6am. At 6.30 we left their house supplied with fruit and cake for elevenses and by 7am they had us back at the point where they had picked us up the night before.

To have such incredible generosity from two strangers was a fantastic treat and we thank them both wholeheartedly. Their generosity really did set us up splendidly for the day ahead.

The next thank you goes to Nic and Luke who drove an hour each way from their home down to Monmouth to deliver our change of shoes and tent and a resupply parcel to us. Not only did they go out of their way just to make the delivery, but they also gave us someone to bore with our walking tour for the second night in a row! Thank you Nic & Luke

The third thank you goes to Vic & Juan. Not only has Vic been acting as remote back up but, as I've already mentioned, they booked a cottage in Hay-on-Wye to coincide with our arrival here.

And what a spectacular place it was that they booked. It's a Landmark Trust property, Maesyronen Chapel, which is the oldest non-conformist church in Wales. We're staying in the cottage adjoining it and it is incredbly characterful with amazing views. As I sit typing this I am looking out from our elevated position over to Lord Hereford's Knob and its ridge.

I don't think they could have picked nicer place for our day off.

Last but not least, a big thank you to my sister, Kay. She's getting to grips with the internet and is texting us every night with a detailed weather forecast for the next day. She's also being a very attentive resupply manager, without whom this trip so far would have been far more tricky (it was also Kay who went on a successful emergency ferrule replacement errand for us).

A big thank you one and each.

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