Day 9 – A Bit of a Climb….

Day nine saw my earliest start yet, as we took full advantage of staying just up the road from the start of the walk at Capel-y-Ffin monastery.  As you drive up to the monastery, this is the statue which greets you;

Statue of the Blessed Virgin

  If you look closely you’ll see she’s missing her thumb and some finger ends, as children who lived there in the 70s used her as a goal post – we met them as grown ups yesterday afternoon and Mike took a photo of them either side of the poor mistreated statue!

After a very comfortable night staying totally off grid at the monastery, we drove the short distance to the Church for the by now traditional start of walk photo;

Capel-y-Ffin in all its small but perfectly formed glory.

Then I headed off over a stream and along the valley before heading up, up and up to re-join the Offa’s Dyke path at the top of the ridge.  On the plus side, saw fabulous views like this as I climbed;

View along Capel-y-Ffin valley

but on the minus side, it was a long hard climb right up to the tops, only to find these beauties calmly grazing up there when I arrived!

Black Mountain ponies at the top of the world!

Re-joined the main Offa’s Dyke path which stretched far into the distance all along the ridge;

Follow the Offa’s Dyke road

Made for great views back over towards the Malverns;

Views back towards home

but also meant you could see exactly how much further you’d got to go!  Kept on keeping on, always meeting hikers coming in the opposite direction, and finding trig points really useful both to confirm how far I’d got and to sit on out of the wind during my breaks.

Eventually made it to the descent, and wound my way down country lanes and across fields to the pick up point at Pandy.  However, the day’s excitement was not quite over.  From the map, I knew I needed to cross a railway line and a stream to reach the pick up point.  What I wasn’t expecting was this;

An arresting end of walk sign….

combined with this;

On your marks, get set, run across the railway line……

I was hoping for more of a bridge situation….However, nothing for it, I stopped, looked, listened and then waddled across as fast as my weary little legs would carry me.  Was crossing the stream – via a bridge – moments later when I heard a train passing by – timing, its all in the timing.  Mike’s timing was spot on too, as he pulled up just as I came through the final gate, and took this end of walk photo;

Just happy to still be in one piece after the railway crossing!

Total mileage now just over 100 – 101.7- and still a day to go til the end of week 2, so will probably end up doing around 160 miles.  However, all that still to come, just focussing on getting to the end of week 2 tomorrow!

















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