Step Count: 27,140
Distance: 10.39 miles
Max Altitude: 219 m
Min Altitude: 53 m
Height Gain: 385 m
Height Loss: 374 m
I woke up excited – today was the day that Wales were playing Slovakia, 58 years since their last appearance in a major tournament. Now, if that wasn’t motivation to get to Pandy at the double, I didn’t know what was.
I set off across soggy ground, soaked after yesterday evening’s downpour. The storm hadn’t quite cleared the mugginess but it was a little cooler and breezier than the past week. Colours everywhere were vibrant.
After passing by a Gwent Young Farmers Club event, the Offa’s Dyke entered a series of crop fields. The going was quite tough at times and I wished that I’d had a machete to thrash my way through.
So I stopped for a coffee and glass of water, plus they gave me a complimentary Welsh cake (win!). Treadam Barn is a restored 15th century oak-framed barn. There was no charge, just the request for a donation. The route between Monmouth and Pandy has no permanent facilities except for one pub, 3km from Pandy. So this rest stop was most welcome. It’s not open all the time and is not run as a business. But if you’re walking past and this sign is planted outside, do go in for the warm welcome they offer.
I barely stopped after this. I had no mobile signal and the 5pm kick off time was getting closer. I whizzed past the 12th century White Castle. I wished I had more time for a nose around, not least because when Rudolf Hess was imprisoned nearby in the 1940s, he was allowed to feed ducks at this very location.
After walking through fields and hamlets, the path led me into a field of livestock….of the bovine type. It was happening again. It was bullocks. Some of them more excited than others.
When I saw more bullocks blocking the way to the next stile, I took a pass and made a detour. I didn’t need a repeat of the Newport Wetlands.
Earlier in the day, the kind people who look after the Offa’s Dyke had warned me to look out for this church –
It’s the Church of St Cadoc, and by all accounts, weary hikers can go inside and make themselves a cup of tea if it’s open. Unfortunately, there was no time for that. Next time maybe.
I had reached Llangatwg Lingoed, the setting for the only pub on this leg of the ODP. And boy, do those signs letting you know this fact bring a smile to the face.
Still, there was no time to stop so on I pushed. Pandy was tantalisingly near, as was the Wales match. I strode into the village looking for The Rising Sun pub and made a beeline for it. I was about to watch Wales take on Slovakia at Euro 2016!
What can I say about the match itself?? I laughed, I cried, I gasped, I shouted and cheered.
WE DID IT!!