Walking the Offa's Dyke Path
Day Four: Trial by Hill
The most sunshine on the entire trip
On the fourth day of their adventure
the fab-four overslept. Their farm house
accommodation was rustic and very
comfortable. Their hosts Mr. and Mrs.
Beaven made them a scrumptious
breakfast, which they ate with gusto.
The track this day led from Llantilio
Crossenny to Longtown/Llanthony a 13.5
mile hike. A mixture of flat country
roads and fields made up the trail at
first, but then it began to climb
upwards. After their regular eleven
o"clock break they headed up, and up,
and up the hills of Wales. All of the
various hills and mountains, of the
Offa's Dyke Path, add up to
approximately 20,000 feet of total
climbing. It was a statistic that kept
bouncing around the hikers' minds as
they plodded up the hills.
A thirteenth century church
It did shower on the intrepid hikers
for 10 minutes, but nothing serious.
Along the way, the walking team came to
a thirteenth century church in the
middle of a farm paddock. It was filled
with art and decorations dating back to
the thirteenth century. From the
magnificent fresco of St. George killing
the dragon on its wall the walkers
imagined that the church must have had
some importance at one time. However,
the vast tide of history had washed it
away leaving it in this desolate place.
Walking in England and Europe is very
different than walking in other parts of
the world. Not only do the walks often
pass through small towns and villages,
but they are also dotted with ancient
buildings, ruins, and monuments.
Views of Wales and England
Before they climbed the steepest
mountain on the walk they stopped for
lunch in a lovely emerald green pasture
filled with fluffy white sheep. After
delicious cheese sandwiches they
continued steeply up 2,000 feet to the
ridge line of the highest mountain on
the track, which gave them more stunning
views of England to the east and Wales
to the west. Their eyes drew out to the
horizon that was framed with light green
farmlands, dark green hills, and
Once on the ridge line the hikers
experienced the full power of the wind
in Wales (or so they thought). Even
though the sun was shining on them, and
the rain had mercifully stayed away, the
wind gusted to over 30 or 40 miles per
hour; nearly blowing them over at times.
This was surely a trial by hill and
Near the end of a long day of
After a very long day of walking up
and down hills and fighting the wind
they finally made it to their next farm
house accommodation at
Longtown/Llanthony. It was a very nice
B&B and the host greeted them with
freshly baked chocolate cake and tea.
They were all ecstatic that they had put
another day of hiking behind them.
So far floods,
mud, hills, showers, and wind have
resisted our intrepid hikers. What lies
ahead of them?