Monday 6 March 2017

Today turned out to be a little more interesting than anticipated – by accident.  Jackie had expressed a wish to visit Hay-on-Wye which is about an hour’s drive and as Monday tends not to be a restaurant day it made sense to go and see the book capital – even if we were not overly worried about buying books.

So we wander around and it is clearly an amazing collection of bookshops.  I take a look at the shop proclaiming to have a good selection of railway books but I manage to persuade myself that I do not need any more!  We look in some of the other shops (books and other items) as we meander around the town.

We then head into one of the cafes and decide that hot soup is needed to warm up before we make the return journey.

Hay-on-Wye is a pretty little town and exists for book buyers and tourists with a very large car park at the southern end of the town; not overly full today.  I suspect a damp Monday does not bring out the best in the town and I have no doubt it gets busier in the summer.  Our outward journey skirted the Brecon Beacons as headed northwards and the entire setting is very attractive.

The sat nav when asked gives several routes back south so I choose one which is not the main road but appears to run largely parallel to the road that brought us north this morning.  We head out of town and find the right turning and almost immediately we start climbing.  And climb some more.  And keep on going up!

I later discover we are going over the Gospel Pass. As we climb we have to be careful as there are sheep everywhere and a sheepdog trying to collect a flock at one point.  When we reach the top there are some stunning views over the countryside.  Magnificent but unrecorded and I cannot find Jackie’s pictures.

As we progress I express the view that I am glad we are doing this trip out of season as the lane gets narrower and narrower and I have no idea what we might meet coming the other way (later in the year there is a programme on channel five where celebrities take some large camper vans over this road – I am surprised they fit!).  Some wonderful trees along the road too – Jackie’s photos:

We pass Llanthony Priory but again it is getting later in the day and we do not want to stop as it is not very warm.  We shall need to return one warmer day.

Back to Penpergwm and we hibernate out of harm’s way!