Our first day took us along flat quiet country lanes to meet the River Severn where it does a loop around the centre of Shrewsbury. Our only hill was as Andy warned the railway bridge coming out of Chester. This was nice easy riding to get the body moving prior to the challenges of Long Mynd and the road south. The journey so far was full of charming villages and rural tranquillity.
A beer killed the rest of my afternoon's cycling but a chat with a couple of guys taking part in First World War songs and poems at Stokesay Court helped to mellow my mood. I don't normally drink alcohol while on my bike because it makes me dozy so the remaing ride to Ludlow was really hard.
Ludlow seems to be a centre for food and festivals and here is Andy contemplated missing "The Fringe".
It was just 37 miles to our next stop at Hay on Wye. We cycled through Wigmore, Lingen, Staunton on Arrow and joined NCN825 to Kington. This section dazzled with glorious vistas, rolling hills, spring flowers and kites flying overhead. Cycling does not come much better than this. At Hay, we join NCN42, the lower west section of Lon Las Cymru, Wales' epic coast to coast from Holyhead to Chepstow that I have done before. Another epic hill follows as we climb the Gospel Pass.
At the top, a mist partially hid the scenery so we do not see it at its best. On our left is Hay Bluff at 680m while to our right is Rhos Dirion at 713m. A long downhill takes us to Abergavenny ready for final climbs to Usk and through the Wentwood Forest to Chepstow. We ask if anyone can speak Welsh in Chepstow. Few people do but one guy said he does. I want to know the English translation for Lon Las Cymru. I knew Cymru is Wales but the guy does not know Lon Las. I check Wikepedia and it is Wales' Green Lane. We have green lanes in Devon but none are 250 miles long
If you want to do this journey, the maps can all be purchased from Sustrans with these links: Shropshire, Herefordshire and Lon Las Cymru. Keep pedalling.