Despite the sleep, I am still feeling lethargic. My eyes are black. Please, please, please don’t say I am getting old. The horrible thing is I feel a little old. Someone along the path called me fit the other day. I had to lean over and embarrassingly wipe the laughter-spit off their face. But it is all in the mind and so maybe I am better off to say to myself: it’s not age my dear, it’s the computer and the extra water and the thirteen muesli bars and all the bitty-bops for charging all your electrical, and the shampoo and conditioner. No one else is carrying. They all flip past me with a little day pack and a hoo-roo. I am probably averaging about three kilometres an hour. Someone else along the track stated that the walkers do about two miles an hour. That coincides. Maybe it’s not me. Factor in too the fact that the maps have gone from being white with yellow, orange, green and pink roads and tracks on them to pink with the same. This is because the contour lines have gone mad! They are the equivalent of that Blue Guide B—— and I had in Italy or Greece that advised that the road ‘ascended in a series of torturous bends’. I should have known that when a man builds a wall and a ditch to keep everyone out of his space, he is going to do it where he has the best view down into what they are up to, isn’t he?
Accordingly with the pinking of the map, today was up and down. Exhausting. Hot. And a death threat proclaimed to every brown fly that ever lived a miserable three day life! Their favourite seems to be to bite me through the back of my bike shorts. The backs of my thighs are like a bad peanut reaction.
The highlight of the day was a completely ridiculous pheasant that shot out of a bush and ran twenty meters up the path in front of me before diving into another bush. It belonged wholly in the Red Queen’s Garden in Alice in Wonderland. I think Lewis must have been inspired in part by pheasants. They run. No attempt to use a wing. Straight backed, head high. It is the funniest thing. When you see me ask me for an impression. It was laugh out loud stuff.
Thought I might be able to get to Pandy which is a good start for the ridge the next day (miles of walking along a mountain ridge with the only food or PH or accommodation options being down contours that are so close together you can’t differentiate them!), but only made it to Llangattock Lingoed, the village before Pandy. It was already eightish and I didn’t think I had hopes of accommodation. I was all prepared—but unhappy—for a night in the outdoors. But there was a lovely guesthouse, with a lovely hostess, and I got a lovely room.
The pub was ‘fully booked’ for meals. ? So I had crisps, chocolate and orange juice and lemonade for dinner.
The guesthouse had bathrobes so I had a great shower and lounged around reading in my robe. This is not such a bad life.
Good night to Llangattock Lingoed, good night to you.