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Saturday, 21 May 2011

Welsh Boundary Walk - Bucknel to Walton

Friday 20th May - day 31
I had a good meal at The Barron of Beef at Bucknell last night : black pudding grilled with cheese, gammon steak, rhubarb and ginger cheesecake, all prepared with care and attention to detail, and real ale to help things along.
This was the first time I have set off in the morning just wearing my Rowan Expedition shirt, not needing anything warmer, and that was at 7:15am. 
I stopped at the village store. A sort of tumbledown shack run by an elderly gent with very meagre stock, but I got an excellent ham salad bap and hot coffee, and chatted with the owner. There is no way he could have been making a living from this shop.
A long road climb took me up to a splendid ridge and then a descent into Presteigne which has an oldy world mediaeval feel. I met an elderly local and he pointed out the old court house and told me he had done jury duty there. It was a case where a guy had been killed by a reversing tractor and it seemed to have had a lasting impression for him, not the sort of case you would typically hear of in Bradford.
The cafe got my custom for a bacon butty and some lemon drizzle cake and a pot of tea for two.
The route followed several kilometres through  sun dappled broadleaf forest. As I was approaching the end where I would join what I was sure would be a quiet B road I began to hear the noise of what I was sure was a motorway or  busy dual carriageway, but this turned out to be a farmer mowing silage on a huge field with a powerful tractor at great speed - very impressive.
Today the walk seemed to have taken on the feeling of a way of life rather than a vacation and I find myself looking forward to the variety of scenery and locations to come.
As I approached The Crown Inn at Walton there were cars everywhere and I thought it must be a farmer's meet or similar and that I would have no chance of a room. It turned out to be a funeral of a popular local who had died aged 58, I was given a friendly welcome, and  fortunately there was a room available. I commented to the landlord on the number of people, and he replied "it's the community".
I have just had a good quality, no nonsense rump steak and looking forward to a sponge pudding with ice cream - yes, I am enjoying myself - I wonder what tomorrow beholds.
It is now 7:45 and there are still many people here in the bar who seem to be making a night of it - I have been farmed off into the quiet dining room, but the lively atmosphere prevails.

Sent from my iPhone

Sent from my iPhone

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