Day 25: 17 Apr 2014; Pandy to Hay on Wye

Day 25: 17 Apr 2014; Pandy to Hay on Wye
Walk descriptor LEJOG2014 Day 25
Date Thu 17 Apr 2014 Start to end time 08h 25m
Start point Pandy End point Hay on Wye
Miles today 18.09 Cu miles 471.30
Ft today 2,777 Cu ft 77,286
Route miles left 1,002.62 Route ft left 122,233
Today’s weather Bright and sunny to start, clouded over late morning. Cold westerly wind. About 6C at 2000ft. No rain
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Today’s location
(the red cross in a circle shows where I am at the moment)
GPX based track of today’s walk
(click here to access to access downloadable file)

“Although the statistics in terms of distance walked and height gained were very similar today and yesterday, I enjoyed today’s walk much more than yesterday’s. That was partly because I’d slept for 9 hours the night before, so didn’t feel so tired, and partly because it was a fantastic, lofty walk across the Black Mountains compared to yesterday’s more rural trudge. Although a lot of the walk was uphill, it was consistently up, rather than the frustrating rolling up and down that I’d encountered yesterday. And these were the first “real” mountains of the walk, and I felt like I was back in my natural habitat. Great!

The route followed the Offa’s Dyke path all day. It was excellently maintained all the way – especially on the upland section which otherwise would have been very boggy. There were a couple of hardy engineers on one of the higher sections mending the path and laying big flagstones. It looked like hard work – today’s weather was cloudier than the last few days, and much colder up in the mountains. There was a bitter wind and I was forced to don windproof over-trousers to reduce the wind-chill on my be-shorted legs.

After some 12 miles and five hours of uphill slog, I reached the summit of the day’s walk and at 2,303 ft, it was also by far the highest section of the LEJOG walk so far (though still only half as high as Ben Nevis). The path descended to Hay on Wye, with hazy views to the North West opening up on the way down. Back in the valleys, it was much warmer and I arrived in time to have a quick look round Hay on Wye, It’s a fascinating place with lots of history and best known for the literary festival at the end of May. It’s got literally dozens of bookshops and antiquarian map shops – a real mecca for literary collectors.

I’m staying tonight at the excellent Radnor’s End campsite, where the proprietor has offered me free overnight camping. The charity I’m supporting – the Scouts’ hardship fund – has a particular resonance for her as she attended the World Scout Jamboree herself, in Korea 1991. So – many thanks, Joanna!”

Today’s photos (click to enlarge)
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This is me in my native habitat, I think. And OK the legs are a bit lardy Path repairs on the Black Mountain. Generally, it was extremely well maintained
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This nondescript spot is the highest point on the Black Mountain section ov the walk. And at 2,300 ft it is the highest point – by at least 1000 ft – on LEJOG so far Scary looking black beetle on the march. Feels like Jurassic park
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Impressive-looking cockerel making a bid for freedom as I approached Castle in Hay on Wye – looks like a set from a horror movie
Atmospheric view back from the Black Mountains back towards Pandy
The previous day’s blog follows below the blue line
Solid line blue