Date: Wednesday 4 June 2014
Walked from: Pandy
Walked to: Monmouth
Walked with: Tracey
Distance: 16.5 miles
Stayed: Bistro Prego, Monmouth
Weather: Constant rain!
Not all walking days are created equal. For this reason, Tracey and I walked in more rain by lunchtime today than I have for the rest of the trip put together. And then we walked for an extra 3.5 hours on top of that…
I could tell you about the interesting places and landscapes we passed through today, but they didn’t have much of an impact – it was a ‘head down, put one foot in front of the other and add another layer of clothing from time to time’ type of day where leisurely food breaks, stopping to admire the scenery and photo stops were replaced with an overwhelming desire to arrive in Monmouth and get warm and dry again!
Stuff we saw that I imagine would definitely be worth a closer inspection if you weren’t being rain-lashed would include the pretty whitewashed church of Llangattock-Lingoed, various fields full of elegant horses and their charming foals, and the ruins of White Castle, which, disappointingly, weren’t white at all.
Instead I’ll tell you about walking through rivers of such chocolatey brown perfection that they were, as our walking mate for the day Neil (who caught up with us about two hours into the walk) described them, straight out of a Willie Wonker film. I’ll also mention one of the best place name ever for a lunch stop (the three of us and a couple heading north huddled in the porch of the church and throwing back food for fuel in preparation for the next watery onslaught): St Michael’s Church of the Fiery Meteor, in Llanvihangel-Ystern-Llewern. Yup, definitely back in Wales… I could also mention Kings Wood, but the best thing about it at the time was knowing that, having arrived there, we only had three miles of walking in peeing down rain to go!
In actual fact, the very best things that happened today acted as bookends to the walk: finally staying somewhere that had porridge as a breakfast option and arriving at our destination to be offered an on the house wash and dry of our walking clothes. I declared my undying love to the manager of Monmouth’s Bistro Prego (which, incidentally, also offers a very nice dinner) on the spot.
Relieved to say that tomorrow’s weather forecast looks much more promising!