15.2 miles. The route today was a relatively easy day’s walk compared to our first three days. The ascents and descents were gentle, meandering primarily through large sheep pastures and a couple of very small and picturesque hamlets. The last part of the day was spent walking over the top of Hergest Ridge, a substantial bracken-covered hill cross-crossed with wide drover’s lanes and dotted with rolls of recently baled bracken and many sheep. Near the top of the ridge was a small stand of some of the strangest trees I’ve ever seen. From a distance they appear vaguely coniferous, tall trunks with long, thick branches that curve down and them swoop up, like a collection of monkey’s tails on a stem. Up close, the branches look more like some elongate form of agave, with short, stout, sharp triangular leaves.
We’re in a youth hostel ( a hostile, as my sister would say) for the night in Kington – I wish there were more along our route, for this one anyway is clean, spacious, very quiet and populated by couples at least our age if not older! Most of us ended up at the Oxford Arms, the nearest pub, for evening drinks and a meal. Seems that most walkers and cyclists ate of the opinion that a hard days walking or riding deserves a good pint, and the Welsh -ales have not disappointed: they’ve been consistently good, as has the pub grub, though I can’t say any have been outstanding.
I’ve heard many birds as we’ve walked, but have seen only a few. We’ve had such distances to cover I’ve been reluctant to take the time to look for them, and Shari sneers at any suggestion that free time together might be spent bird-watching. Hopefully I’ll have some mornings, now that I’m becoming better adjusted to the daily demands of our walk, to spend looking at and for more than just pigeons and sparrows!