Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Offa's Dyke day 11:Blister In The Sun.

I never thought I'd be so relieved to reach Oswestry. It wasn't the gorilla made of spoons in a tribute to famous fraud Uri Geller. It was the chance to rest my poor blistered feet and my aching back that was feeling the strain of lugging a rucksack up and down so many hills.

A persuasive barman had convinced an easily persuaded customer to have one pint too many last night in Llanymynech's Cross Keys. They brought chips out for free so at least it got soaked up. There were warnings, too, of the hills ahead.

They weren't lying. I soon began a steep ascent of Llanymynech hill where Darwin once carried out geological studies. The summit gave great views both sides of the border.

The rock formation was like nothing I'd seen. The later golf course less exciting. I bumped into two North American girls walking the other way. Their pronunciations of Llangollen and Prestatyn were amusingly wide of the mark. Their assertion that I was approaching a flat stretch a blatant untruth worthy of Michael Gove.

I crossed a disused railroad. Twice. Apparently it's in the process of being restored. I met a man from Nantmawr walking his dog. We walked to his home village, no pub/no shop, together chatting. Friendly folk round these parts.

I passed through Jones' Rough and squeamish readers may want to look away now. It's about to get TMI.

I'd had both beans and eggs for breakfast and they were working their way through me quicker than was ideal. There was nothing else I could do. I took a shit on a hillside. It wasn't fun but needs must.

After a big crap I don't normally crave gelato but there was an advert for ice creams. All I had to do was ring a bell and someone would bring me a Magnum! Odd. As was the peacock relaxing in the garden.

I walked up, up, up, and up again. Finally I descended into Trefonen. The lovely looking Barley Mow pub served beers from the Offa's Dyke brewery. Needless to say it was closed. So I had a can of Coke and a pack of Frazzles on the bench near the war memorial. Kids nearby were competing in a sack race. I looked a sad sack.

From Trefonen I walked an uneventful road into Oswestry. The blistering was kicking in. My back hurt. I felt old. A pint of Salopian Oracle in The Oak Inn refreshed me. Friendly Oswestrians assisted me in finding a room.

I tried three B&Bs. No dice. The Griffin said try The Red Lion. The Red Lion said try The Greyhound. The Greyhound suggested The Railway but sniggered as they did it.

The Greyhound had a room though. £20. TV but no bog. The guy who checked me in asked no details and said 'fucking' about five times during this procedure.

Who knows what awaits me tonight. Or, indeed, tomorrow. I'm not sure my sore feet have much walking left in them. There's an internal argument raging. Tomorrow morning I will decide whether to continue or not. My body is failing me.


  1. I hope you do continue, but needs must! At least try and find a bog with toilet paper if you do manage another day.

  2. I shouldn't have thrown away all that Brexit propaganda. It could've come in very handy