Week 9 | Walking Around Wales


The Previous Week

Its Day 57 | And We Are Still Walking Around Wales

Although we had passed the halfway mark on this big walk, this week proved to be one of the toughest, not so much physically but mentally and emotionally. Jaycee was still recovering from her sickness while at Knighton and I was starting to feel drained by the whole project

My budget for the whole trip was very small at £1500 and this had to cover everything from diesel, food, dog food, laundry and bus fares. Obviously this would mean managing on a £100 per week or less if I wanted to cover the whole 16 weeks without more dips into the savings

To date, my average spend was £121.33 per week so I was already well over budget. It was difficult to cut back on anything and there were unexpected costs like new trainers and dog wormers. It became almost an obsession about not paying parking and on the whole I managed that quite well, to date parking had only cost about a tenner

Bracken Bales For Livestock Bedding | Hergest Ridge

Not For Feed | Bracken Bales For Bedding

I have an issue about paying for parking, I drive less than 2,000 miles a year, mostly for environmental reasons, I pay hefty tax on the van of £215 p.a, a ridiculous amount of vehicle insurance as it’s a dual purpose van, a works van and a campervan, which means having specialist insurance so I feel very aggrieved at forking out money to park up. Rant over…

We were still on Offas Dyke but getting close to the end at Sedbury Cliffs where I have family at St Briavels and at Tutsill. I was looking forward to seeing them all, having some company on the walks and benefiting from hot showers and lovely home cooked food

The terrain, like the coastal path, varies dramatically on Offas Dyke, it ranges from road to fields, and grass tracks to gravel paths with lots of lovely bridleways. It also meanders through lovely little villages with great names like Evenjobb and Pandy

This week’s highlight would have been seeing the wild ponies on Hergest Ridge and at Hay Bluff. The herd at Hergest Ridge passed us at a gallop and it was so exciting I dropped my phone while trying to take photos

Large Herd Of Shetland Sized Ponies | Walking Around Wales

Exciting To See Wild Ponies In Their Natural Habitat

The ponies at Hay Bluff surprised me, as there is a large herd of coloured Shetlands as well as the Welsh Ponies. I sat watching them for about an hour, the stallion from the Shetland herd holding his own with a stallion from the Welsh ponies. It was quite incredible to see and I felt privileged at having the opportunity to observe wild ponies at such close range

By the end of this 9th week I was in Monmouth, parked overnight in the Lidl car park courtesy of the very helpful and friendly store manager

The smallest of gestures from strangers made all the difference on this walk, it really doesn’t take a lot to make someone’s day, and generally when I had asked permission to park overnight it was normally given and usually with a smile

But it had been quite difficult to find places to free camp overnight and the public transport in some areas was not great, this meant further walking and more hitching to get back to my van. I have a great memory of an elderly gent in Gladestry, he saw me reading the bus timetable and assured me that there was a bus on Tuesday morning; unfortunately for me it was Friday afternoon…

One Happy Little Dog | Walking Around Wales

Must Be The Way I Tell Them..

In Europe there are completely different attitudes to campervans and motor homes, the local authorities encourage them by offering cheap places to camp overnight, in France they are called ‘Aires’ and for a few Euros you have somewhere safe to park, fresh water, showers and toilet waste disposal. British local authorities please take note…

There were now only a few miles left to walk until we reached the coastal path at Chepstow and I have to admit to being relieved at getting off Offas Dyke and back onto the coast

It had been a fantastic experience to walk down from Prestatyn to Chepstow but I so missed the sea and had felt hemmed in by the hills and mountains. The coastal path does not always follow the coastline but you always know its quite close by

I had a couple of rest days while at Chepstow, it was an opportunity to catch up with family and to clean the van out properly, there is only so much dog hair that a brush can remove, sometimes it has to be a Hoover. It was a great couple of days and exactly the morale booster that I needed before resuming the All Wales Path

The purpose of this big walk around Wales is to establish how easy or difficult it would be to ride a horse all the way around Wales using as much of the new All Wales Coastal Path as possible. We know that most of the path is inaccessible to anyone on horseback and we strongly believe that this should be remedied by the relevant agencies. The roads are becoming increasingly congested , the incidents of horse riders in collision with traffic are increasing and the need for safe off road horse riding is as important as it is for cyclists

Please consider signing and sharing our safe off road riding petition for the Welsh Coastal path

Taken South Of Welshpool | Walking Around Wales

One Of Many Beautiful Rural Scenes On Offas Dyke

Please contact us here if you can help in any way with our planned ride

Walking Around Wales | Week 10

How It All Started

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