Yesterday took a lot out of me. The terrain was more hilly and a lot of time consuming navigation was required ending up with a later arrival than anticipated at the beginning of the day. It was also very hot, and the final frustration in the heat was mentally and physically tiring, but something always turns up, and of course there is always the tent...
This morning I had a "continental" breakfast to beat their 8:30 standard breakfast time. The girl who sorted my bill was unaware of my tale of woe from last night and she took pity by offering to drive me the one and a half miles back to "1 out of 4 Brockton". I had worked out a contingency plan and was glad I didn't have to use it.
From Brockton it was an unrelenting four kilometre climb on a narrow hardly used cul-de-sac Tarmac lane gaining 215m. I took that so steady: one hour and twenty minutes. The continuation as a field path still kept climbing.
After that there was tricky navigation and one gate fixed with twisted barbed wire which I dextrously unentangled. At some point I hooked up with Offa's Dyke path and then descended very steeply to Welshpool. Well, at least I have made it to Wales.
The Royal Oak Hotel, Weslshpool is the best of British traditional hotel stock, charging appropriately. A bit of negotiating got the initial quote for B&B down by £29, I'm not saying what the actual price was.
I've just had an avocado and prawn "tian". It was a superb creation. I asked the head honcho what tian meant. "Well, it means layered. A Chef's word" he brushed off in jocular fashion. The creation was superb, and for that the chef is entitled to call it what he wants. Gayle may have been dismayed, it was served on a piece of slate.
Now I've just finished his steak and ale pie. It came with chips prepared with skill, and an individual pie, not in a dish, so no nonsense deciding how to extricate it all, and with a perfect totally enclosed shortcut pastry, and balanced taste. Also a little boat of proper gravy to dip the chips in if you want, and a little accompaniment of water cress. This is a thinking chef.
Now for Bara Brith: I discovered this Welsh version of fruit cake on my Welsh boundary walk. I feel a bit guilty at tonight's extravagance, but have just decided that it is my mandatory celebration of my return to Wales.
I'm signing off now.
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