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]

Monday 5 May 2008

Day 21 - Monmouth to Pandy

5 May
Distance: 16 miles
Number of aspiring killer dogs (failing miserably in its quest): 1

I've been a walker my entire life. My parents used to take me walking before I could walk. As you may expect, all of this walking has involved a lot of peeing out of doors. So, you'd have thought that with over 30 years experience in the matter I may have learned to check for stinging nettles first. Alas, as I have now (painfully) learnt, it only takes a small aberration to find yourself with nettle rash in places where nettle rash should not be.

That aside, it was day 2 on the Offa's Dyke Path (ODP) today and although much of it was across farmland it was still jolly nice - and jolly undulating.

The ODP continued to be well waymarked and in most places well trodden. Admittedly, it was a bit tricky to see where the path went through the field of rape that was three feet tall. It was also rather tricky (impossible, I'd wager) to get through that field without getting covered from shoulder to knee with yellow pollen. However, most of that pollen was covered by the mud that I managed liberally to smear over myself later in the day.

Luncheon (hastily bought in the only grocer I could find open in Monmouth at 7am on a Bank Holiday) was eaten just below, and with a good view of, White Castle, before we continued across the fields, suddenly surrounded by families after hours of solitude.

The high cloud of the morning (fortunately) took a long time to burn off. It was warm even without the sun, but a couple of miles from Pandy the sun broke through, and golly, it was hot.

Still it was only a short stroll (with aching feet) down to Pandy and only a few steps or so up the road to our campsite, where the owner kept us entertained for a good while before we pitched the tent. Once again, we were the only tent there (and this is a tent only site), which also of course meant that we didn't need to feel guilty about hogging the shower for an unreasonable length of time.

With 21 days walked, we're now quite focussed on the rest day that we're having on Wednesday, just 17 miles away.

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