Statistics: 13.5 miles, ascent 1811′, 6 hours
The next morning, Cathy gave us a tour around the large farmyard and gardens at Penylan Farm. She provided a bountiful breakfast and drove us back to Abbey Bridge to resume the trek.
Our guidebook noted that the ancient dyke had been reduced to fragments in this area and would not be visible from the Path until the farming community of Kington. This morning’s trail took us through many fields with far reaching views of lovely, green rolling hills.
We came upon a small village with a picturesque, little church with the Welsh name: Llanvihangel-Ystern-Llewern or in English, St. Michael’s of the Fiery Meteor.
There must be an interesting story behind that name, but I did not discover it.
This area is well known for hard cider apples. Large orchards were everywhere, the low hanging apples were a huge temptation and many signs requested that visitors not pick the fruit. We discussed this and decided to obey these instructions.
As we left the orchard we met Paddy, a solo hiker who frequently walked with us over the next three days. (One of the joys of long trek hiking is the number of people we meet and repeatedly encounter while on the trail.) The Path took us next to White Castle, a 13th century fortress that was one of three “Marcher” castles which protected England from the Welsh along the border area known as the marches. (Note: The King of England appointed “Marcher Lords” to defend the Welsh border. The rank was equivalent to Marquis or Margrave).
I wish that we had recorded the number of styles and frequent little bridges we climbed.
Nearing Pandy, the trail gave us beautiful views of the Black Mountains – tomorrow’s hike.
A couple of long-time English friends, Jean and Peter, joined us as planned for dinner at our B&B. Peter will hike with us tomorrow.