Walking from John O'Groats to Land's End in the winter of 07/08.

Saturday, 12 January 2008

Kington to Hay-on-Wye

The storm moved away overnight and I woke to a peaceful and frosty world. After putting on my reasonably dry clothes, I took a small lane out of town and headed for the old racecourse that encircles the summit of Hergest Ridge. As I climbed, far reaching views revealed themselves; green valleys and snowy hills illuminated by the pure winter sun and in the distance the dark mass of the Black Mountains.

I couldn't help but feel my mood lifting as I followed the signposts and acorn symbols across hills covered in fields and bare open ridges. Yesterday's nightmare is a distant memory now. I guess the sunshine finds a way into your soul (never expected to be thinking soppy things like that). Small lanes lead to the magical wooded dell of Bettws Dingle, where I found a soft path through the trees and looked down over a tumbling brook. Emerging at the bottom, a wide river dominates the landscape. It was a simple matter to follow it upstream into the tourist filled town of Hay-on-Wye.

It was only early afternoon and I had the unusual luxury of a bit of time to look around this pleasant town. After a grand day out in the hills, I'm refreshed and ready for whatever the Dyke is going to throw at me next.


Andy Walker said...

From your pictures you appear to be going through an alarming rate of walking poles, which brand would you recommend as being the most hard wearing?

Great blog by the way, I'm enjoying your instalments.

Jim said...

Hmm, hadn't really noticed that, well spotted :-)

The variety of poles was partly due to a walking group nicking a pair from an umbrella bin when they left a pub in Glendevon en masse and threw them in the back of their van. I then borrowed a pair which I had to give back (the owner was justifibly worried about their safety). But also due to falling over in bogs and bending poles trying to save myself.

Anyway, the black diamonds were my favourites, mainly because the clasp mechanism doesn't fail when it's clogged with mud or frozen.