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Saturday, 19 September 2015

Boston to Barmouth - day 14

Saturday 19th September - Brockton to Welshpool

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.















Welshpool



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4 comments:

Gayle said...

Did you know that passed within 100m of the top of another Marilyn today: Beacon Ring? We did that one in snow; I think it was last December. I imagine it looked a little different today.

I'm pleased to report that our evening meal tonight was served not on a piece of roofing material, but in a perfectly appropriate bowl (even if it was made of plastic, as we're still in Colin).

Roderick Robinson said...

Gradually, perhaps not so gradually, the image of a crusty old man, defective in mind as well as in body, is replacing its precursor who believed that facts alone (often numerical) were all that mattered. And your accounts now live.

However you are deluded on the subject of meat pies. Individual pies have a serious inherent defect - compared with a slice from a larger pie, the ratio of pastry-to-content in an individual pie is automatically less favourable.

There seems to be a difference of opinion on "tian". One view is: "one of the oldest Chinese terms for heaven and a key concept in Chinese mythology, philosophy, and religion." On the basis that heaven can be regarded as the layer above, your waiter's explanation may just squeeze by.

However, and rather more boring, we have: "A tian is an earthenware vessel of Provence used both for cooking and serving. It is also the name of the dish prepared in it and baked in an oven. The classic vessel is a truncated cone, flattened at the base and flaring outward to a wide rim."

Your next question must obviously be concerned with truncated cones.

Anonymous said...

Gayle - I hadn't realised it was an M. I did by-pass the hill fort and walked past the mast. I don't suppose I can count it, but it would be easy enough to do again from the road. Judging so far by the place I'm in tonight I think my meal may be served on a mediaeval wooden platter.

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RR - ah! But the quality of that pastry...

After tonight's meal (see above reply) I may be asking you to translate dark-ages food terms - groats springs to mind.

Sir Hugh said...

Anonymous is me Sir Hugh dammit - this Captcha thing is stupid.