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Walking the Offa's Dyke Path Day Eight: Trial by pain

The intrepid hikers
The intrepid hikers
David Millett

The intrepid hikers set off on the first leg of the northern section of the Offer’s Dyke Path, 17 miles from Knighton to Brompton. It rained all night and when the fab-four got up at 6:00 a.m. it was still raining. The good news was by the time they were out walking on the path it had stopped and was now only threatening to rain. In fact it rained on them once the whole day; very good luck given summertime weather in Wales. All four walked on through emerald green fields, past massive mushrooms, purple lupines, and deep green ferns. Wales is a beautiful place to walk.

Weeks before the team had set out to walk the path; Mary fell and had broken a rib. In true form she ignored the discomfort and chose to continue the walk. However, after three miles of hard hiking the pain began to overwhelm her. Mary struggled down her last steep and slippery hillside. Once at the road, at Seiley Hall, the very brave Mary decided she could go no further. David left the walk too and escorted her home. Both of them gave up a hike that they had been so looking forward to; everyone was terribly sad about it. After a brief rest they bid farewell to all and sped off in a taxi back to Knighton. Now only Julia and Ernest remained to master the Offer’s Dyke Path.

It was 12:30 p.m. and the remaining hikers had only traveled three miles so they knew they must step on the gas or surfer the punishment of walking in the dark. For the next 14 miles they charged up hill and down dale. In fact they climbed a total of 2,654 feet that day and descended the same before the walk was over. Going up was hard, but coming down the steep, greasy, muddy descents was even more difficult; so much so that Ernest fell many times into the black oozing mud; much to the entertainment of Julia who somehow managed to avoid the ooze.

They finally arrived at their farmhouse accommodation at 7:30 p.m. tired, happy, and glad of all the spectacular scenery they had seen. They were both so very pleased to know that Mary would be safe in her bed that night, getting better and readying herself to walk with them again soon. However, many miles of walking lay before them. Could they go on? Would they complete the Offer’s Dyke Path?

See photos from this adventure

Join the intrepid hikers as they continue their adventure on the
Offa's Dyke Path.

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