Monday, 15 June 2009

The Offas Dyke Ordeal day 2

We all woke up really early after a nigh under canvas, or rather, I woke us up really early, 4 am to be accurate, as I was convinced there was something wrong with the campsite and we were lucky not to be murdered in our sleeping bags. More of that later.

Everyone was bright eyed and bushy tailed raring to go so by 5.45 we were packed and on the move heading for Pandy. A slight error in navigation meant Pandy didn't arrive on the scene as it should have and a two mile detour was received by all with the good humour of those on an endurance event. After what became known as Offas Tourettes, the uncontrollable desire to swear loudly at whoever is leading we soldiered on and reached Pandy by 9am. Here the unthinkable happened. Sara, above, the Duracell bunny of endurance events, the girl who blagged her way onto an alpine expedition I led by convincing me of her climbing prowess when in actual fact heronly mountain experience consisted of walking across a car park in Snowdonia saying oooh they look big, well her, she ran out of go. And stopped. A totally startling almost surreal experience to any one who knows her, she just never stops. But she did. In Pandy. Sorry, it all feels wrong I cant go on. Bye.
We left her safe a bus stop and pressed on over the hills and far away, and as we were traversing the Black Mountains another strange experience. A reporter, Jess Childs, from the Hereford Times called me to ask what on earth we thought we were doing. Inn between gasping for air I told her of The Great To Do. Fantastic a photographer would meet us in Hay on Wye at half 3.

Now we had a deadline the plan started to unravel, Jimbo, a stalwart was suffering in silence and finally let on that his boots were crippling him. So much so he could not endure the pain, he pulled the eject handle and baled out on Hay Bluff. And then there were two. Stuart and me.

How we pushed on I don't know but somehow both of us made it to the RV with the nice photographer who made us parade up and down a bit for action pics. Finally in Hay On Wye we could resupply with drink, but no food, all food sales are banned it seems after 6 pm on a Monday. If you want to buy a book, well there are 24 hour dealers, sustenance to stop you eating your own arm, sorry no sale.
So fuelled with Vimto (one can 330ml can give enough energy to power up a 1 in 4 hill) Stuart and I merely had to complete another 14 miles before bedtime at Rock HQ which as we all know is somewhere on Offas Dyke.
Again a combination of e numbers, stupidity and determination got us to our destination where Tracey and Sara were waiting . Sara seemed a bit better, Tracey was as ever just wonderful and tended to our every need.
I managed to get upstairs before my legs set and fell asleep in the safety of Rock HQ.
Day 2 Llantillo Crossnenny, Pandy, Llantony Priory, Hay on Wye, Newchurch, Rock HQ. 34 or so miles. Start 05.45 finish 21.45 Pack weight 43 pound. Calories consumed 1,000,000,000,000,000,000.098

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