The third section of Offas Dyke, making this a quarter of the way through the entire path! This route was approximately 17 miles and although we had initially split it, due to it being up in the mountains, the only way to split it was to leave 1.5 hours of walking for the following day. After some severe discussions, we decided that this was a bit pointless and not worth the hassle of driving the cars the following day that we agreed to walk the entire section in one day.
We stayed in an apartment in Tal Garth, again due to UK staycations, we struggled to find anywhere in Hay on Wye which would have been preferred. It was a nice apartment and did the job, it just left a bit more for driving but nothing we couldn’t handle. We agreed on an early start as it was likely to be around 8 hours of walking and just over an hours drive at the start and at the end.
Leaving the apartment just after 7am we began walking around 8.20am through various fields, over a train track and began to ascend up the mountain. Already the views were just stunning as we walked higher. The purple heather in contrast to the green ferns and blue skies with a 360° view, needed some time to just process how beautiful this was.
Surrounded by sheep and wild ponies throughout the walk, it was just breath-taking. We walked along the ridge of the mountain for around 14 miles on a well made path, taking in various stops for quick breaks, legs stretches and food. As we finally started to make the descent, the views became even better. The vastness and quietness made us feel tiny. We continued our descent past Stone Circle car parking (which was our original finish point) and through the forest.
We all felt like those last 2 miles took forever, they were never ending. Our legs were hurting, we all had various blisters on our feet, Winston was tired and it was definitely the longest any of us had walked. That last final field when we saw the car, felt like a lifetime, but when we got there, we had never felt so relieved!
We drove to pick up the other car, did our stretches and then drove back to the apartment. When we got out the car, poor Winston needed some stretching and massaging, in hindsight, I should have done this when we first stop and before the car journey, but I’ve learnt this for next time.
After we devoured a well earned Chinese takeaway and alcohol, it was an early night from us. We completed this section (just under 17 miles) in 8.5 hours.