Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Walking The Severn Way: Stage 6

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

Welshpool to Llandrinio
Only 8.5 miles

In this issue
we meet our first moving barge, play with a pulley, catch a Noon Fly, meet another wooden sculpture and do lots of dirty squelching! Plus much much more...

Hello and welcome along again to the next stage of our meandering stroll. We start today from Welshpool through the Welsh and English countryside as we head towards Bristol and the culmination of 210 miles of the River Severn Way, now just over 166 miles away. Are you properly booted, sandwiches packed and ready to go?

A few spots of rain fall as we trot along to catch our train and onward bus to Llandrinio for the start of our next leg along the River Severn Way. Will you be waiting there for us? Excellent.

The train from Shrewsbury to Welshpool was delayed for 20 minutes due to 'line re-alignment' which was slightly worrying! Other than that we arrived to start our walk with just 16 minutes to make-up which I think we should do quite easily.

OK? Ready? Lets' get cracking!

We're on the Montgomery Canal again for a short distance and Pam sets off at a cracking pace again in order to make up for our late start. She's determined we don't miss our bus some 5 hours later in Llandrinio!

Barge and Pulley
It's not long before we meet up with our first moving barge on the canal.

The blue one is stationary but the red one ahead is just negotiating the tunnel. Barges travel mostly at a very slow pace and usually slower than the speed of an average walker so it was only a few minutes later that we caught it up just as it reached a manually-operated bridge.

These are small bridges mainly for tractors travelling between fields and have to be lifted by the barge people by pulling on a chain connected to a pulley system. Of course, once it passes through, I just can't resist having a go!

We soon catch up with our bright red barge once more as it meets up with another coming the other way. This one had a group of youngsters on board out on a school-trip.

Remember these wonderful wooden sculptures? My turn to pose!

We eventually reach a busy main road near Pool Quay which we have to cross - a fast road and not easy to judge oncoming cars - one is upon us almost as we reach the middle - I catch Pam's arm to literally pull her across - the driver gives an annoying hoot! Slow down! We've just been blissfully sauntering along a beautiful stretch of canal and the last thing we want is loads of mad folk in cars urging us to get out of their way!

Glad you all made it safely across!

This is where we leave the Montgomery Canal behind as we pick up Offa's Dyke Long Distance path which is shared with The Severn Way for a few miles across mainly pasture land, hugging the river most of the way. Thanks M/C for sharing a few beautifully serene miles with us all.

Say bye bye everyone!

I check our timing and we've made up the lost 16 minutes - exactly! Well done all of you!

Leaving the canal we walk straight into lush green pasture land midst masses of white clover. And sheep! Everywhere sheep.

Fly by River
It's a cooler day than our last stage which makes for easier walking but the sun comes out as we settle down by the side of our river for lunch.

With a fly. But a rather pretty one don't you think? After a little research I discover it's something called a Noon Fly.

We walk on through soft easy-walking and beautiful countryside. The majestic Breidden Hills appear in front of us. Moel y Golfa, is the highest at 1,324 feet and the whole range lies neatly on the border between Powys, Wales and Shropshire, England. So we're now not far from not only our own country but also our own county.

And all the time the lovely River Severn meanders along with us and without a care in the world.
And Pam - who is usually very wary of cows shows how familiarity can make the most cautious brave. With cows, of course, come once more; cow pats! By the hundreds. It's difficult to avoid squelching them, they seem to be everywhere in this particular field. So many in fact, Pam names it Cow-ville! Every now and then she shouts from behind 'You've just trod in another!' I wonder why she can't tell me before I tread in the damn things instead of after!

A pretty damsel fly rests on a thistle head and poses beautifully for the camera

I check the route card against the time and find we're now 8 minutes ahead of schedule despite having tricky cow-pat terrain to negotiate. We're due a 15 minute break here but Pam is keen to press on. So am I - pressing into yet another cow-pat!

More squelching!
We have to come off route about 1.5 miles now in order to catch the bus at Llandrinio but we make it in time and end the day with a rather scarily fast bus-ride along twisty roads but we arrive safe and sound at Shrewsbury with just enough time for a visit to Marks & Spencers before our train home - why did I not see that coming?

I think this is a first; I walk around the wonderfully clean white lines of this department store for some time unaware that I'm depositing cow-pat remains everywhere! I make a hasty retreat and wait for Pam outside. Still, it means the train carriage will be free of countryside smells this time!

See you next time for Stage 7 of the fabulous Severn Way walk.

Walking Companions
If you'd like a friend or friends to come along too just send them the link:-

The more the merrier! I know I've said before I prefer to walk on my own but you're so quiet I hardly notice you're there. It's only at the end of each stage you tend to make a comment, and talking of comments;-

Don't forget to leave one below; help, advice, silly banter, words of encouragement are all very much welcomed and I know then you're definitely following me! Don't see 'Comments' below? It's because you're reading this post in an email or RSS feed - just click here to go to the main blog:-


Chris Wigg said...

Well done Paul and Pam - some beautiful photos

Chris Wigg

Paul e Watts said...

Thanks Chris. We're really enjoying our 210 miles stroll along the river and it's great to be able to share it with so many other lovers of walking and the countryside.