Saturday, 18 August 2018

LEJOG Day 21 - Glasbury to Hay on Wye

The Black Mountains from the Wye Valley Walk

After breakfasting with a group of four French people at the guesthouse who were travelling around Wales, hiking and visiting historic sites, I set off from Glasbury following the Wye Valley Walk to Hay on Wye. This proved to be a pleasant riverside walk in beautiful scenery with the brooding, Black Mountains I had crossed the day before, forming a moody backdrop in the slightly gloomy morning. I was undecided as to what my plan was for the day. Hay on Wye was only around five or six miles but the next obvious stop along the way was Kington, a further 15 miles, making a walk of around 21 miles. I decided to wait until I reached Hay on Wye to decide what to do. I reached a point where the Wye Valley Walk offered high and low level options and decided on the low level option along the river, which I was enjoying walking along.

Monday, 13 August 2018

LEJOG Day 20 - Abergavenny to Glasbury

I left Abergavenny  on a beautiful sunny morning  and began climbing steeply towards Sugar Loaf mountain. Today's  walk passed through the Brecon Beacon  National Park and proved to be the best and most scenic walking so far. At times, there was a real sense of isolation and remoteness. I reached the foot of Sugar Loaf  but had no intention of climbing it as I had a long day ahead with a number of steep climbs and I needed to conserve my energy. I had visited the summit in 1996 when staying with the Ramblers at the now boarded up hostel in Abergavenny, so had no desire to lug my full pack up there.

Sunday, 12 August 2018

LEJOG Days 14 to 19 - Wiveliscombe to Abergavenny

Day 14 - Wiveliscombe to Bridgwater

Having broken my glasses in the bnb in Wiveliscombe, I had travelled to Newton Abbot after meeting my wife en-route. We were spending a few days with our friends Chris and Harry who had kindly invited us to stay with them. This gave me the chance to collect replacement glasses and new trail shoes my wife had brought with her, and also to take the opportunity for a break from the trials I had experienced so far. After a few days rest and relaxation with Ann at our friends, I returned to Wiveliscombe, scene of the broken glasses. After an incident packed trip, which involved being delayed by the discovery of a dead body in Taunton bus station, I eventually arrived back at the village where I had stopped walking a few days earlier and set off for Bridgwater. I was meeting my wife there as we had a room booked in an hotel. The walking was largely forgettable and mostly consisted of walking totally deserted, tiny rural lanes. The exception to this was the climb over the Quantock Hills where I had some  beautiful views from my elevated position. The walk ended with a tedious slog along country lanes and through estates into Bridgwater. 34.5k/21.5 miles

Saturday, 4 August 2018

LEJOG Days 12 & 13 - South Molton to Wiveliscombe

Wimbleball Dam
LEJOG Day 12 - South Molton to Wimbleball Lake 36.2k - Cumulative 364.2k

After checking in at the The George hotel in South Molton, and attending to the usual hygiene and laundry chores, I decided to eat at the restaurant next door as the hotel didn't serve meals in the evening. Having enjoyed a nice, if slightly expensive meal, I returned to the hotel to watch some rubbish TV before dozing off some time later. After an hour or so,  I woke up feeling strange and realised that I urgently needed the toilet. The rest of the night was spent between the bed and bathroom as a I suffered an awful bout of sickness and diarrhoea. I spent the next two days holed up in my room at the hotel feeling dreadful but decided that I would continue the walk on the Monday. I suspected that my wild camp by the River Taw was the cause of the sickness as, while filtering water from the river, I had on a couple of occasions inadvertently put the neck of the bottle carrying the unfiltered water to my mouth.