I have seen some beautiful country during this week but none to touch the lovely valley down from the Gospel Pass past Llanthony Priory and down to Abergavenny. 20 miles of deciduous forest, tinkling streams and lovely walking routes. I chatted with an elderly gentleman who’d driven over from Cheltenham to walk there for the day. And it was a downhill bike ride almost all the way. Heaven! Llanthony priory is mid valley and has beautiful ruins in local stone.
I worked hard to get there with a fearful climb up from Hay on Wye, the strange, pretty little town that lives for its annual literary festival, and for books. I bought a souvenir, a little Edward Thomas book on Keats.
Edward Thomas is sometimes thought of as Welsh War poet. IMO he is not really either of these: although born on Anglesey his adult life was in England and his work describes the English countryside and the way of life that was ending. His work came in a flurry in the mid War years, before his death in action on the Western Front. This little book is Thomas, by then an acknowledged literary reviewer and prose writer, learning from the master poets ; perhaps plucking up courage to begin writing his own verse, very special work to me.
Tomorrow I will be back over the Severn in England. I would like to express my gratitude to Sustrans and to the genius who stitched together this marvellous route through the heart of Wales.
I must also thank the friends and family who have encouraged me all the way with phone calls, text and other messages, while providing the all-important motivation of sponsorship for MLGS. It has been a hard road at times, but basically a lot of fun. I hope this wacky blog has conveyed that and has made you smile.
I haven’t quite finished ….