Step Count: 24,779
Distance: 8.81 miles
Max Altitude: 88 m
Min Altitude: 62 m
Height Gain: 75 m
Height Loss: 83 m
I awoke to news of the European Union Referendum. It was with extreme disappointment that I shuffled in the rain to the bathroom block at the campsite.
I went back to sleep in the field and struggled to motivate myself to walk. I finally got myself on Offa’s Dyke Path in late afternoon. At least the rain clouds had moved on to reveal a bright blue sky.
I left camp and crossed Buttington Bridge over the River Severn.
After walking alongside the Severn, the trail led me to the towpath next to the Montgomery Canal. My mood picked up immediately. There’s something very calming and balancing about canals, for me. I’ve never been in a canal boat in my life, and yet they fascinate me.
This canal was abandoned in 1944 and is thankfully being restored.
After not having had much luck with pubs being open on the trail, it was with delight that I saw this cheery sign inviting me to the nearest local –
The Offa’s Dyke Path then veered away from the canal towards fields and up on top of the Tirymynach flood embankment. My history book told me that in 1960, the defences failed and more than 200 animals drowned.
And speaking of animals, it was yet another deja moo for me as I became the person of interest to the local population, who decided to follow me across a couple of fields, I’m pleased to say, without intent.
I walked and walked across fields just daydreaming. It occurred to me that I felt a million miles away from the problems of the world at that moment. Walking through the countryside, and thus avoiding the news and social media, made me realise that life always continues. The UK had voted to leave the EU, Sterling was plummeting, the prime minister had resigned, and all manner of other things were chaotic, yet the river beside me was flowing, the grass was growing, birds were flying overhead and clouds were moving across the sky. Life always goes on, doesn’t it? A simple yet profound realisation.
I missed a waymark while deep in thought and continued along the flood bank. When I realised my mistake it was too late so I decided to walk towards the nearest road as dusk was upon me.
I reached the bridge at Llandrinio. A very helpful information board told me the history of the bridge. It was once a crossing point for Roman legions, while in the Middle Ages, people would get across the Severn here by ferry in order to trade goods. During World War II, anti-tank defences were built at either end of the bridge and it was manned by the Home Guard.
I read to the bottom and saw the familiar blue European flag with yellow stars. The information board had been placed there thanks to EU Objective 2 funding. I chuckled to myself.
I got to The Punch Bowl in Llandrinio as the light failed and had a quick coffee before resting for the night.