Day 100 - Mum & Dad back to join us!

Trip Start Jun 12, 2010
1
105
147
Trip End Nov 18, 2010


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Flag of United Kingdom  , Wales,
Monday, September 27, 2010

Although we slept reasonable well, Keith woke up with a bad headache after a nightmare.  It must have been something to do with the large sausage.  Breakfast was a delight as we discovered Keith was quite a foodie who served up homemade farmhouse bread with lovely sausages bacon ad the most perfect eggs from the girls who were running around at the end of the garden.  The sky was grey and although we did not know it at breakfast, this would be the colour of the ceiling of our world for the entire day. Still today was day 100 since we set off and we can only be thankful for the general good state of health we have both maintained throughout our adventure. Apart from a couple of small blisters in the first two days both of us have stayed fit in body and mind and have not had even an inkling of any cold or sniffle despite being exposed to the elements every day. So, as we ate up the last piece of toast and locally made marmalade we listened to Keith providing a free lesson in both the history and natural history of the area in a contented frame of mind.

We walk off down the long driveway at 9.30 and are soon leaving Pandy in our wake as we walk through rolling farmland until we reach the enticing old church at Llangattock-Langoed.  It originates from pre-Norman days and has a 500 year old painting of St. George and the Dragon which has been discovered on one of its walls.  We take time out to look through the church and buy the guide book setting out its fascinating history.  From here we follow an undulating path through farmland and country lanes until we come to the charmingly named hamlet of Caggle Street.  From here we are following the River Trothy which we cross at some point and walk uphill to confront the magnificent old White Castle.  We pay our entrance fees and become the only visitors to the Castle. 

By now it is noon and we are ready for an unusually early lunch. Even though a very light misty rain falls, we have ideal seating here in the Castle, and it does not spoil the packed lunch which Keith had provided for us.  While Debby toured the grounds of the Castle after lunch, snapping photos from every angle, Keith quietly read the magnificent history of the place.  The Castle is one of 'the Three Castles' which probably date from 1067 when William the Conqueror gave this area to one of his trusty supporters, William fitz Osbern, to control the Welsh Princes in the area. William became the Earl of Hereford and although the Three Castles were started then, it was over a hundred years later before White Castle became the impressive landmark that it is today.  After a 45 minute break and no movement, we were beginning to get a little cold so we dug deep into the day bag to find the sustaining bottle of Sloe Gin which Angela had so kindly added to our support kit.  Quite a nice nip and just the job for today.

Our walking after lunch continues to be mainly across farmland and for the first time we see a field in mixed usage with pigs joining the sheep.  We carry on sometimes along country lanes, but all very quiet.  At one point our walk takes us directly through the Bulmer cider apple orchard.  It is interesting to see the numbers of trees planted in strict rows and laden so heavily with fruit which is already beginning to drop onto the floor of wood chippings under the trees.  More fields await us until we hit the River Trothy which then accompanies us for a while until we walk into Kings Wood.  Here we have our main incline of the day rising to a mere 150 mtrs above sea level, before inevitably descending back through the woods and out onto Watery Lane which leads us into Monmouth.  It would be lovely to think that our special Day 100 would be marked by glorious weather, glorious views or a glorious track.  Under today's leaden sky with occasional light misty rain and confined mainly to unremarkable farmland, it was not to be.  It was, in short, an average day of slightly above average duration.  By the time we had done dinner by walking up into Monmouth town centre from our Hotel and back again, we were to complete 33 kms. 

The highlight of the day however, was the return of Colin and Phyllis, our trusty 'mum and dad' support team.  There they were waiting at the Hotel to greet us handing over the backpack which they had kindly picked up from Pandy.  Despite feeling tired from our walk, once Keith heard there was a Costa Coffee in Monmouth, no time was wasted before we were all sitting drinking our flat whites.  For once Debby even held off from her beloved bath.  There were more delights in store in the evening as we had the luxury of going out for dinner at a restaurant rather than a pub.  Cafe Preggo served a good meal although Colin scored the meal of the night with lamb steaks oozing pink juices and cooked to perfection.  Keith was annoyed he missed out and is determined to find a great lamb restaurant over the next few days.

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