I am now just onto my map number 39 so in broad terms I have done about 38% of the walk.
I chatted with a fellow backpacker this morning who had arrived late in the evening unnoticed to me. He has identified the dwelling places of his friends and family that he would like to visit thus giving himself the framework for a long walk. His meandering route is taking him from Newport in S Wales up into Northumberland. He will pass through the Yorkshire Dales which he has not previously visited - what a lucky chap.
I had another stretch down Deeside with the wide river on the left and heavy industry exuding various malodourus fumes. One benefit was a cafe catering for the workers in these plants where one always gets bacon and egg sandwiches made for men and serious tea.
After Lache I was out into the quiet countryside. All went well for a while. I followed a good path where the farmer had asserted the way through his crop fields including almost head high yellow rape. I was following a dike on the right and the map showed a turn off at right angles over a footbridge which I found. The line of the path on the map went straight across a newly planted crop field that was ploughed out to the edges with no sign of any path I backed off and walked further on over another bridge but ended up in a field entirely enclosed by hawthorne hedge. I went back and tried yet another route. This led me to a field bordering a dual carriageway. I battled with more barbed wire, brambles and ditches and emerged onto the edge of the dual carriageway. This was safe enough with a wide grass verge, but I knew I really shouldn't have been there. The map told me there was a farm road running parallel about two hundred yards up the toad if I could get through thick brambles and cross a six foot deep ditch. I found a place where this was just about possible and started hacking my way through. My legs (I was wearing shorts) were being badly scratched and just as I sank into the bottom of the ditch, disappearing I guess from the sightline of the dual carriageway I heard apolice car going past with siren screaming and suspected somebody had reported me. I finally got back on route and went into the pub in Rossett and cleaned myself up a bit, and then walked on another four miles and booked into The Greyhound here in Farndon.
These country paths create more navigation problems than mountain walking, and for all I have said about the 1:25 map my preferred 1:50 map does not show field boundaries making things more difficult. The compass is more use here than it ever is in the
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