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Walking the Offa's Dyke Path

Day Three: Trial by Mud

The long and winding road, that leads to your door

Delayed by a late breakfast the intrepid hikers were late getting onto the trail. This turned out to be an extremely costly delay. They headed off down the track from Redbrook to Llantilio Crossenny another 13 miles of walking. The good news was they had only to carry their day packs on the walk. Their bags transported each day to the next stop for them.

They passed through some wonderful green countryside and farms. Eventually they came to a small town where they stopped for coffee and bought some lunch supplies. They continued through the town and out into more beautiful farm lands. It was here they encountered the real mud!

"Mud, mud, glorious mud"

In the last installment their trial was by flood, but this day it was trial by mud. In some places the paddocks and fields they crossed were four inches deep in very wet, sticky, and slippery mud; and this went on for mile after mile. Walking in mud is quite taxing as you exert much energy just trying to stay upright. However, the fab-four plodded on through the brown ooze, although they were never completely free of it all day. Eventually it became less of a drag on their progress. The song "Mud, mud, glorious mud" became the song of the day. It was amazing luck that it had not rained a drop on them even though it threatened to rain all day.

Welsh farmers
A welcome stop along the way

Because of the unplanned mud delays and late start they did not make it to their farm house accommodation until 5:30pm, which meant they walked the last few miles in darkness, and yes, wallowing through mud. Without a road to follow, and armed with only some rudimentary directions, the four hikers wandered about in the dark paddocks for an hour before finding their way. They were sure glad to arrive at the farm house. An elderly Welsh couple greeted the tired hikers. The farmer's wife is a poet and had written many poems about the mud in Wales. More stories about mud did not inspire the hikers; especially after spending the day walking in the fresh brown and oozy Welsh mud.

So far it has not rained, but will their luck hold out? Will they be able to get around other flooded sections of the path? And what about the mud, will it let up? Was rain and snow waiting for them on the next section of the walk?

Join me on my next installment of Walking the Offa's Dyke Path.


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