Monday, October 5th, 2015
Breakfast at 7am and Mike took me to my starting point for my walk. Well, actually, on my request he took me about 2km further, to where the Path left the road. I figured with the 25kms (15.5miles) ahead that day, shaving a few off at the start wasn’t a bad thing. An advantage I totally squandered by 2 bad decisions within the first few hours of the walk. First: I turned off the road where there was a stile and an arrow, but no acorn (the designated sign for Offa’s Dyke). I followed the forest path a while, got unsure of the direction, turned back to the stile.. and then it turned out to be right afterall. So back down the same path. Second: a bit later on a road was a rookie mistake. I couldn’t see the signs, checked my gps but interpreted the direction incorrectly and consequently ended up following the road in the wrong direction for almost a kilometer. Realized my mistake and turned around.
So yes, I had used up all my sunshine it turned out. It rained overnight and continued to rain for most of my walking day. It cleared up around 11am, started again at 1:45pm till about 2:30pm and then drizzled intermittently. By the time i arrived in Trefonen the sun was shining through the clouds.
The day started out through Trevor Hall Woods, some fields and some roads, until I came to the decision point ‘to cross or not to cross the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct‘. Not a difficult decision really, of course I went over it! The Aqueduct was inscribed on the Unesco World Heritage list in 2009. Rather spectacular to walk on it and to see a canal boat go across it at the same time. Don’t miss it when you are in the area.
There was quite a bit of tarmac today, views on Chirk Castle, fields with the obligatory sheep, cattle and horses, dogs running loose where they should have been on a leash,.. Finally, just past Castle Mill I encountered the actual Dyke for the first time! For some quite substantial sections the Path was either right next to it or on it. More tarmac at Baker’s Hill, onto the old racecourse with ruins of the old grandstand, into Racecourse Wood (almost flat there), through wooded glades into the Morda Valley, some more fields (with a particularly muddy one) and into Trefonen where I reached Lynstead Lodge at 4pm. I was warmly greeted by Diana. I had enough left over from my lunch pakket that I decided against a pub meal (normally Diana would have taken me there and back). Instead I freshened up, got comfy in my nice room and made full use of the good wifi – i was beginning to exhibit wifi withdrawal symptoms by now ;). I skyped mum and updated my blog.