Wednesday, July 7, 2010
267.7 kms: Montgomery-Fordon (II)-Beacon Hill-Buttington-(Welshpool).
There is a movie, or a book, in which someone has to earn a rite of passage by making it through the first meal at boarding school, a plate of kippers, without giving-in and admitting he has no idea of how to eat them. I would have given it a red hot go, but in the end, would have done what I did this morning, and decided I just wasn't that hungry. What an awful experience! Actually it may have been Oscar Wilde's biography now that I think about it. I was back on the track within an hour and then stopping to gear up for rain. At Forden II I ran into a lady who I had met twice before—she had passed me once, a good few days ago when I was sitting on the side of the road, and she had been staying at the same hotel last night. This morning she was waiting for the bus outside the pub. With the rain and the upcoming hill she had decided this was not a 'holiday'; she was throwing in the towel and heading to Welshpool on the bus. I, on the other hand, went inside for my weirdest pub experience to date. I rang the bell as the time showed it should be open. The girl who answered the door told me that they 'open for walkers'. I guess this means not for other modes of transport. Open was a loose interpretation. I think they may have turned on one light. There wasn't really anything to eat as such, but I did have a tea and a lemonade while the girl and her boyfriend babysat her mother's infant. I was very glad to get back in the rain and up a hill. That says something. On the walk up the hill I decided to stay the night in Buttington. Rain, I decided, was stoppIing play for this day. The walk on the hill, I must say, was glorious. It went through a forest that was, frankly, enchanted. Nothing like magical scenery to take your mind off the gradient. Buttington had only a camping ground. No way. I, too, caught the bus to Welshpool. The owner of the B&B gave me her room. It is strange to invade people's lives like you do in some B&B's. You are in their house. Looking at the things they use everyday. While they are ... where? I had dinner at a snooty pub where they couldn't spell sausage (unless sauasage is an allowable derivative). The bangers and mash were reasonably priced but I stepped over the reasonable line and had a glass of wine and a raspberrry pavlova which was to-die-for. Early night followed. I have one hundred and thirty-three kilometers to do in eight days. Eek! Good night to Welshpool, good night to you.