Walking with Shwn in the Llanthony Valley and part of Offer’s Dyke. Saturday 6th December 2014

 We left the free car park at 9 45 am the weather was cold, frost sprinkled around and beautiful blue skies above. The remains of Llanthony Priory was founded in the 12th century situated in the Vale Ewyas.

Photo1844 By Llanthony there is a small church dedicated to St David. The church was built on the site of the saint’s cell. It is a very simple structure (unlike the over massive Cathedral at St DavId’s i think the saint would have really disliked ) with an opened timber roof. Of special interest  is the fact that it is orientated for March 1st (St Davids day and my birthday too) The axis of the church points directly to that part of the heavens where the sun rises on St David Day. I deliberately did not take a photo because you the reader of my blog might like to visit this sacred church.Walking along the Rhiw Cwrw, this is an ancient track which, like many in the Black Mountains was made by farmers to provide access route to Hatterrall Ridge. it is believed to have been used by monks for transporting casks of ale hence Rhiw Cwrw translated means Beer Track. The monks transported the beer between Llanthony and Long Town Shwn’s family came from Longtown. It is a steep ascent up Hatterrall Ridge but the views were stunning.

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Once on top of the boundary between England and Wales called Offer’s Dyke. (I walked 70 miles over 3 days of Offa’s Dyke, Hay Bluff to Sedbury Cliff 6 years ago) A bracing wind invited Shwn and myself to look at the amazing panoramic surroundings, it was breath taking met 7 men who were out on a days walk. Walking from Llanthony to Cwmyoy. They told me their wives were shopping in Abergavenny. I said “Perish the thought there is only one good shop and that is a book shop”. I left them speechless with my remark. Photo of Wales from its spine.

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Flat England stretched for miles.

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There were Cairns along the way to signify a prehistoric burial sites.

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Also a powerful upland stream often containing boulders which have rolled down the stream bed, forced by the power of the water.

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Making our way down was not kind to our ankles, knees or hips. Shwn and I noticed how quiet it was only our breathing. It was tranquil but my mind forgot to tell my physical body which screamed silent pain.

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The views manipulated us to distraction.

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This touched my inner being.

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The walk was 6 miles, it seemed longer but once inside the grounds of the Priory, our aching limbs did not matter only inner peace.

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