I come late to this evening’s blog as, as mentioned yesterday, three friends from Shrewsbury’s finest mixed voice choir had travelled out to Montgomery to keep me company.
After completing the Coast to Coast and Glyndwr’s Way, I can say, without fear of contraception, that today was the toughest day’s walking of the lot. It was unrelenting up and down for the first six and a half hours. I kept telling myself that the last 9 km was all downhill but I couldn’t seem to get to them!
The initial climb up from Knighton to the top of Pampisford hill wasn’t as bad as I had envisaged but the climbs just kept coming. The Knucklas viaduct was a familiar sight:
Turning the corner after a fairly short but nonetheless sharp climb, I noticed what appeared to be a film crew about 100 yards ahead. I carried on and when I next looked up I couldn’t help but notice they were filming me walking up the track.
As I got closer, the presenter, who turned out to be Sean Fletcher, asked me questions about the walk. It turns out they are making a programme for ITV on the ODP. I caught a couple of episodes of the one they did last year on the Coastal Path. They seemed to like what I said and made me walk up the track three times so who knows? Any enquiries through my agent.
It was only when I was about a mile further on that I thought of what I should have said when he asked me about my walking;
My Dad got me into walking and I’d like to think he’s looking down on me now.
He’s not dead, he’s a keen hang glider.
Well I liked it…
Some really tricky sections today as well, way marking not as good as earlier on the trail and badgers and rabbits ensuring every step had to be watched. If ITV didn’t provide my big break I didn’t want one to the lower limb.
This old plough was an interesting diversion on a day when I didn’t stop to take a lot of photos:
After finally conquering the final summit, at about 4pm, having set out from Knighton at 8.30, I was finally able to make some proper progress.
The last hour or so, crossing between Powys and Shropshire, was quick going. Well maintained stiles and footpaths. I was still late for meeting Col, Ang and Jan. Col was kind enough to come and pick me up where the main road met the path.
It was a real pleasure to have a few pints with friends after being on my own for the last week or so. It was also great that Col and Ang had brought my smaller rucksack so I won’t have to carry as much for the next two days! Here’s a picture Ang took of me after a really tough day…
I shall be in Llanymynech tomorrow evening. If any of the Shrewsbury set are at a loose end I shall be in The Bradford Arms.
After catching the train home from Chirk on Thursday I’ll be joined by the Mountain Goat on my return to Chirk on Friday morning and my fellow Teesside Poly alumni Kev will join us that evening to walk the last two days. That should be fun!