Wales – Day 4

Day 4 in Wales was Sunday, I think, January 2nd.  Since we’d already had some issues with things being closed due to the holiday, we assumed Sunday wouldn’t be any different and switched our castle plans (we always have castle plans) for outdoorsy-type activities.  Like hiking along Offa’s Dyke.  Of course, our travel guides didn’t say how to get to Offa’s Dyke (which is a very long trail along the English-Welsh border that passes near our village somewhere), so we asked Carl (the go-to guy while our landlords were away). Got his directions (which were quite vague: “Follow the lane out to the road, then go straight.”  It sounds straightforward, but there wasn’t really an option that was clearly “straight” when we got to the road.  And he left out the “veer right when you get to the fork” that would have been helpful later on), set off, and finally found the path (marked with acorn signs) about a mile from the cottage. (Once we found the path, we were set.) So we started hiking. And hiking. And climbing. Up and up and up. Spectacular views, better and better the higher we got. We’d warm up from the exertion, then stop to take pictures and start shivering again. We climbed all the way to the top of a mountain, and I stopped some people coming back down to ask them the name of it. I’d like to know what mountains I climb. I’ll add it to my list. 🙂 My growing list of all of two mountains now. He struggled a bit, but came up with Penrhyddion (I’m guessing at the spelling, but I’m pretty sure I’m right – pronounce the two d’s in the middle like th), which I haven’t been able to find listed as a mountain on Google. I’ll keep looking. After taking lots of pictures from the top (we were so high there was a light dusting of snow!), we headed back down. All in all, we hiked about four hours. Came back to the cottage, the bottoms of our boots caked in mud, had some tea and biscuits, cleaned up, and went looking for dinner. Every pub that says they serve food on the sign outside is a liar. We went into one that clearly said they serve food, but when I asked, no, they don’t. We had a pint anyway and met some very friendly people (a guy who lived in Houston when he was a teenager who came away from the experience with a dislike of Texas and another guy, drunk, who called himself the local idiot) with lots of advice on how to spend our next few days.

Oh, we saw sheep, too.  Lots of sheep.  Honestly, the castles we did end up seeing were totally cool, but I think this was my favorite day.

View from our cottage of where we were headed

The path was clearly marked, once we found it. John wants to know why the acorn is upside down.

These narrow lanes are not much fun in the dark.

I'd like a door like this in my yard someday. Leading to my secret garden. Maybe the gate should be wrought iron.

John climbing over an honest-to-goodness stile

Check this out - a gate for the dogs who can't get over the stile!

In case you weren't sure what it was for.

View from level one, back towards the village and our cottage

Any idea which way to go now?



I think one of the small hill gods lives here.

Sheep for Jess

View from a bit higher up (but not the top, not yet)

Mountains we didn't climb. At least not that day.

Damn, we took a lot of pictures on this hike.  I’m skipping to the end.  When John posts all of our pictures in his gallery, I’ll point you there.

The top! See that white stuff on the ground? Mm-hm. Snow.

I think that town is Denbigh. Hard to say, though.

I may or may not have been dancing in circles while singing songs from The Sound of Music. You'll never know for sure.


  1. Jessica

    Awww … I love that sheep. Thanks. 🙂

    Also, I’ve decided I want to live like a small Welsh hill god. Which is good, because there’s no way I’ll ever pass for a large one.

  2. momma betty

    Great pics. Are those snow-capped mountains in the distance from the Snowdonia National Park? They look like the Rockies, but they can’t possibly be that high.

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