Across Wales WalkMonday 6 September 2004

45 miles is a heck of a long way to walk. Neither David or I had done anything like it before, particularly across open country, hills and valleys. So when we were lining up at the start of the 41st Across Wales walk on the Shropshire border at 4.45am on Saturday morning we really did not know what to expect.

The arrangements so far had been excellent. After a couple of bacon rolls and tea cooked by David on his mini stove at 3.30 in the morning we had packed the tent and clambered into the coach with the 100 or so other lunatics and been bussed to the start line at Anchor Bridge. The sobering sight here was various 'doublers' emerging from hedgerows where they had been catching a few hours sleep having already walked 45 miles from Aberystwyth and now preparing to walk back again.

We started off in the moonlight, skirting woods then moving onto the Kerry ridgeway where we got glorious views of deep red clouds over central Wales as the sun came up.
Descending Glog HillGlog Hill to checkpoint 1After we leave the Kerry Ridgeway at around 6 miles is one of the most scenic parts of the route. We descend the flank of Glog Hill with spectacular views to the West.

After this we descend steadily to a stream crossing before a short, steep climb to the first of many welcoming checkpoints.
Crossing the Llandinam bridgeJeremy, Peter and Ian on Llandinam bridgeAfter checkpoint one we cross several steep valleys including the very muddy Mochdre brook before decending into Llandinam and crossing the Severn by the oldest iron bridge in Wales.

We are a 'gang of six' by now with new friends Jeremy, David, Peter and Ian all going strong.
Climbing out of the Severn valleyAcross the Clywedog valleyOnce we are up on the Severn way there are another couple of hills before we break into our first real run down to the Clywedog bridge at the 20 mile mark. Unfortunately we are the wrong side of the valley to see the impressive Clywedog reservoir. Instead we climb steeply out of the valley.

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