Step Count: 21,662
Distance: 6.12 miles
Max Altitude: 532 m
Min Altitude: 116 m
Height Gain: 465 m
Height Loss: 341 m
Still excited by Wales Euro 2016 win, I woke with a smile and had a hearty plate of scrambled eggs on toast for breakfast.
It was a beautiful day with blue skies over the Black Mountains. My intention was to get some good miles in while the going was good.
I left the campsite and headed north on Offa’s Dyke Path, crossing the main Manchester to Cardiff railway line. From the get go it was a relentless ascent. And you know how I feel about those ascents. I worked my way up slowly but surely.
The aim was Hatterall Hill. I found the bogeyman staring back at me on my way up.
The jagged Ysgyryd Fawr (Skirrid) mountain was suddenly behind me after being on my left hand side for most of yesterday. The view was stunning. Here’s the southernmost trig point on Hatterall Hill with Ysgyryd Fawr in the background –
The Offa’s Dyke Path stays on Hatterall Ridge for many more miles. Mountain sheep and shaggy wild ponies were everywhere.
And it was then that the dark storm clouds began to emerge from the west and I felt blobs of rain on my face. I hadn’t seen a single person on the trail all day bar one man a little earlier. I didn’t want to be caught in a storm alone on the ridge so decided to descend to Llanthony on a path that trailed off. It took me a while as I was going slowly in order to protect my knees.
Besides, descending to the valley below gave me the opportunity to look around Llanthony Priory, which is somewhere I hadn’t visited before.
And I also visited the Llanthony Priory Hotel cellar bar. It’s a quirky little place, full of character. But when the men next to me started talking about shooting water buffalo, I finished my coffee and left.
It was time to set up camp.
Tomorrow – Hay-on-Wye.