Owen Legg's SPONSORED WALK : Glyndwr's Way 23 June- 2 July 2008

In aid of the ARTISTS GENERAL BENEVOLENT INSTITUTE with the FREE PAINTERS & SCULPTORS

Well, I made it! Unfortunately My ankle protested on the 6th day and I had to have a day out to give it a rest. The weather had been pretty awful on the 5th day with wind and rain in my face. Next day my ankle was so swollen and painful that I just couldn’t continue. But with the aid of enforced rest, anti inflammatory tablets and cream I was on my way again. Luckily I had arranged to be picked up on the 5th and taken to Lianidloes. The idea being that next day I would be returned to Staylittle for the next section. Instead I had a pleasant idle time in the sun seeing the sights, shops and an exhibition in Lianidloes. So I was able to have two nights in one place and not upset all my prebooked sleeping arrangements on the journey.

Once the sun shines one forgets about the bad weather. Two years ago I had done half the walk from Knighton to Machynileth and had 5 days of rain till 3 in the afternoon. This time the first two days were fine, then rain most of the day for three and a bad morning as I left Llanidloes. Things then got better with farmers everywhere busily cutting hay and my ankle behaving itself. I am not used to my body performing badly. Perhaps I’m getting old.

I did manage some sketches on the way and hopefully they will be on my website. A few people asked me if I was famous. All I could say that I was a little infamous, but not notorious. I must have a bit of the mad professor trait, because I lost a rucksack cover and a shoe from my pack, a screw fell out of my glasses, and I left my wallet behind in one stopover.

My route was in the opposite direction to the official guide, but the 132 miles are well signed and with a map and at times, compass, the path is reasonably easy to follow. The reason for going round the wrong way was my previous experience in 2006. People would say “You’re doing it the wrong way round, I’ve never seen any one doing it backward”, as if I was trying to keep my sight on England. I only missed the path 3 times, adding on a few miles, to make a total of about 120 miles in 9 days.
My route started at Welshpool, went up to Lake Vernwy, across to Machynileth, then back to Knighton via Lianidloes. Officially named after the Welsh Prince who for a few brief years united Wales and defied the English. He disappeared from history in 1412. The trail was started 30 years ago and given national trail status at the Millennium. Apart from Machynileth, where Owciin Glyndwr set up his parliament, there is no real connection with that hero of the Welsh. But it does provide an excuse to see thinly populated country, a lot of sheep and climb some stiff hills. I only met 7 people walking and another 4 at B & B’s who said they were on the trail.

At least I was able to use my poor Welsh and strike up a few conversations. All my Italian disappeared once I had crossed Offa’s Dyke. I tried to send a card to my Adult Education Class, but in that village the only cards available were Christmas snow scenes and Welsh greetings. When I tried to write only Welsh would come and no Italian.

I only saw one red kite, a barn owl, one hare and a whole lot of sheep. Twice my route took me through a field with a burly bull, the cows may have stampeded, but the bull was too lazy to move. I didn’t try to use my Welsh on him, just kept looking straight ahead.

So thank you very much for supporting me. So far I have raised £200 in sponsorship and the cost of my holiday was £406 including costs of maps and occasional teas.

Hon. Secretary to the Free Painters & Sculptors (charity no 246199) and in association with the AGBI (charity no 212667)

Owen Legg, “Woodcraft” 152 Hadlow Road, Tonbridge, Kent TN91PB
woodcraft.tn@virgin.net www.woodcraftpress.co.uk

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