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Walking the Upper Wye

Part two of "making the most of days off work" - a weekend walking in Rhayader.  (by 'weekend' here I mean Sunday and Monday, but that's a minor technicality).

This plan wasn't decided until Sunday lunchtime, and since it's a 2 hour drive away I think I did quite well to start walking at half 3!

I'd paddled a small section of the Upper Wye in February, so decided to spend a couple of days completing this stretch.  Started from the layby at Pont Marteg, I walked up through Gilfach nature reserve (next to the Afon Marteg) then over a hill and back down into Rhayader. 

view from the highpoint of sunday's walk
beautiful scenery, looking down on the Marteg!

For the return I just walked along the A470.  Probably not entirely recommended, as it's quite a busy road (though not too bad late Sunday afternoon) and hiking on tarmac isn't my favourite thing...

Pitched the tent at Wyeside campsite, dunked my feet in the river to cool them down, then wandered into town in search of food.

Monday started earlier than I'd intended, on account of getting boiled out of the tent before 8am!  Once I'd packed up and left at about 9, it was already 21° outside and glorious cloud-free sunshine.  Definitely shorts weather! (my walking trousers are double zip-offs, so can do full length, 3/4 and shorts.  awesome)

My phone needed charging, so I drove the long way to my walk start point - to Llangurig, and down some country lanes (which I'd later walk along).  After about a mile, I found some friends:

sheep in the road
yes, I was taking photos whilst driving. tut tut.  But I was only doing about 3mph and getting bored...

That was all I saw for almost 3 miles! Sheep's backsides!  A lady appeared from a house at one point, and told me not to worry too much as they were "notorious" for getting onto the road (and had been in her garden earlier too).  Eventually they chose a field to aimlessly wander into, and I reached the little village (hamlet?) of Dernol.

Walked about 3km on roads, then the path veers off and up a hill.  One minor detour where I missed a not-very-obvious marker post (hooray for map reading skills), but other than that this bit of the route was very well signposted.  Certainly along the top of the hill there were plenty of posts, including this one next to a somewhat redundant stile.

a stile, but no fence

Great views from up there too, despite it having clouded over a little bit (which I was actually quite grateful for).  The wind farm on the other side of the valley didn't seem to be up to much.

Eventually dropped back down through Clochfaen and into Llangurig, where I had a quick lunch in the Black Lion pub.  And also picked up the 3rd wvw passport stamp of the weekend - not bad going!

From Llangurig, it was back along the lanes to the car.  I'd like to say there weren't any sheep to hold me up this time, but two did leap out of a hedge at one point.  Apparently they're more wary of walkers than they are of large silver cars, as they legged it.  Mind you, after two days of walking in the hot sunshine I was no doubt smelling rather whiffy, so maybe that that scared them off!

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