I'm spending a large amount of my spare time at the moment editing photos. This is the one 'downside' of spending weekends out and about! It also creates backlogs of actual blog posts (ie the words to go with the pictures!), oops.
Here's a small hint about where I went walking last Sunday:
Books and bookshops wherever you look. Must be Hay on Wye!
I arrived around lunchtime, having got up early to watch Wales put in a fantastic effort against South Africa in their opening game of the rugby world cup (far more entertaining than watching England miss kicks the previous morning ). Hopefully this won't count as peaking too soon....
Anyway, back to my walk. I got my passport stamped, ate lunch, and headed off. The footpath sneaks around the top edge of the town, then goes off in a NE direction back over the border into England, and through some fields.
Fields gave way to golf course, where I was hoping to make some joke revolving around the Mark Twain quote "golf is a good walk spoiled" but actually, it was quite nice there - ok, I had to wait to cross a few greens to avoid getting hit by golf balls, but the path was well marked and had a series of animal sculptures along it for added interest.
After the golf course, I made it through one more field before the clouds above decided to empty themselves. Cue frantic dash to get my coat on, and the waterproof cover over my rucksack! The rain lasted all of ten minutes, and we were back to beautiful sunshine. Make your mind up please weather...
Eventually I reached Priory Wood. A quick check of the map at this point revealed that I was still nowhere near my planned turnaround point (Castleton, where I'd ended the previous bit of walk). Here I made the decision to cut the walk short and head back. I'm not really sure what went wrong - I'd measured the route on a map beforehand as 15 or 16km (10 miles), but looking at what I'd done and what was left it was suddenly looking like actually being nearer 20, and with not enough time left in the afternoon. My shortened route ended up being about 12km.
So that was a bit annoying - and leaves me with a small 'gap' that I'll need to go back and fill at some point. And I can't quite yet brag about having finished all the English bits of river. Nearly though!
It also did mean taking a different route back to Hay than I'd planned. I walked down through Clifford and along the verges of the B4350 through another minor rain shower.
Once back in Hay I wandered around the town, took more photos, and had a rather delicious cherry yoghurt ice cream. yum!