23rd April 2018
Weather: Cloudy, a few brief sunny spells. Cool.
Grassy pastures and rolling hills were today’s prominent features.
This was the section I had been planning to walk with Owen before the Chepstow rest day changed things. Arguably a better day today to show off for scenic views of border rolling hills and distant Black Mountains. Sheep, cattle & horses in fields: each with young. Yellow-flowered green pastures (only dandelions, but this garden pest was at its peak display of beauty.). Even a couple of picturesque churches, cute cottages and a castle ruin. Met a couple going in the other direction, said that the route from Hay to Pandy was superb (high route)
There were a couple of path diversions that spoiled this idea of perfection. The first advisory suggested a bridleway that petered out on the ground, and attempting to follow it with GPS sent me on a bramble-tangle that ended in an impossible wall of vegetation. The second a 2-mile roadwalk.
The final descent into Pandy, even with dark, clouded skies, was a very pretty scene. The air was clear and higher peaks stood out.
Saying goodbye to Owen after breakfast, he videoed me setting out boldly in the wrong direction. After a turnabout, I encountered a summary of the day ahead
The (entirely untrustworthy) diversion map
The bridleway route (blue arrows) took me to this point
The forest track was longer, but navigable & eventually gave some distant views
The next piece of bridleway didn’t start off very promisingly
All that faffing took me about 2 hours to cover little more than 5km, but the day improved afterwards. I seemed to be walking towards this skyline for the rest of the day
Llanfihangel Ystum Llewern church (“obviously” I hear you say)
Another diversion “don’t try to be clever this time- just walk up the road”
To White Castle (big!)
And many vistas like this for the rest of the day
Anyone for a wobbly bridge?
This was definitely clever marketing at the top of a stiff climb
Llangattock Lingoed church (white-painted exterior, note)
With some distinct treasures including medieval wall paintings
A carved beam
(and a few more not shown here)
The final vista above Pandy
and a few degrees to the right
Staying at the Old Pandy Inn, in the bustling bunkhouse
Lively, as I am used to by now on this trip
the pub doesn’t appear to mind, or is maybe obliged, to advertise its hygiene rating
Distance exaggerated by some poor woodland reception, and the need to backtrack a couple of times today