HWF 2022, part 2. Heatwave. Hereford by bus. Thunderstorm.
A smashing 13 miles, although the final section through the woods featured a few too many nettles and brambles for my shorts-sporting legs.
Still, two scoops of ice cream at the GV Community Cafe in Pontrilas took my mind off that, and the timing was perfect to catch the 440 back to Abbey Dore. One more mile, albeit uphill, and I was home to find that Phil had spent the afternoon helping to heft hay bales onto Ray’s trailer.
Wednesday was due to be another HWF 2022 day walking more of the Herefordshire Trail, from Peterchurch to Eardisley. But it was 16 miles, and I’ve done the first section up to Merbach Hill with the GVWC, so I decided to opt out (again).
Instead, Phil and I took the 441 from Kerrys Gate into Hereford where we had a lovely couple of hours before it was time to catch the once-a-week bus back again, this time getting dropped off right on the doorstep.
It was another beautiful sunny day and it felt like we were on holiday. Our two hours commenced with coffee at De Koffie Pot with views of the Old Bridge and the River Wye, then meandered through library book return, Trekkit and a Cycle Shop, and The Mousetrap Cheese Shop.
The 441 runs every Wednesday from Longtown into Hereford, for what was market day, and, similar to the Tuesday 442 to Abergavenny, it has its regular ladies – including A from KG who introduced us. Lovely!
Before and after I did some admin – sorting out alternative travel insurance for Ladakh (turns out Exodus’s policy requires you to book with a “reputable UK tour operator” if you want to use it for other trips, which stymies me using it for Val’s treks and our Picos trip) – Trailfinders came up trumps – and uploading photos from the HWF walks so far (and doing last week’s weeknotes).
Thursday and Friday featured another two sections of the Herefordshire Trail courtesy of the HWF 2022.
Up early Thursday to drive to Edwyn Ralph, way over there in that East Herefordshire. I mean, it’s practically in The Malverns! … which also means it’s the other side of Hereford and we all know how horrendous rush hour traffic is in the City Without A Bypass. So I opted for the longer route with more reliable timing via Holme Lacy, Dormington and Yarkhill, which got me to ER just after 9.15am after an hour or so’s drive.
Only four on the walk plus the leader. After driving to Leominster we walked through the town then along section 13 of the Herefordshire Trail back to Edwyn Ralph. A bit of rain early afternoon but we soon dried off. No thunderstorms.
13 miles, not too hilly, one Iron Age camp, one restored railway station and one lovely couple who offered us cups of tea!
We finished up around 5pm, so I rescheduled ChipsAway and Family Zoom and did a speedy shop on ASDA on the way home. Main purchase: a blaster water gun, for “shooting” squirrels 🐿
Beer and crisps on the patio then two more episodes of For All Mankind.
An even earlier start on Friday – up at 6am to drop P off at Hereford train station for the journey to Witham for a long weekend. The rail strikes meant he was on the 7.50am-ish train rather than the 6.43am he’d booked on (fine by us)! Surprisingly little traffic in Hereford, no queues at all. And an easy drive on to Edwyn Ralph for the next section (section 14) of the Herefordshire Trail: Fromes Hill to Edwyn Ralph via Bishop’s Frome and Bromyard, 10 miles or so (Strava reckons 12 miles).
A cooler and cloudy day, you could feel the moisture in the air… and shortly after setting off from Fromes Hill the heavens opened and we got soaked. Once it stopped we dried off although I did squelch for the rest of the day. But all in all it was a lovely walk led by three ladies from the Bromyard Walking Club. Lots of hop fields, apple orchards and the occasional vineyard.
A late finish again (5.30pm), then home for a shower and a pot of tea and a slice of cake purchased from the Lamings Bakery in Bromyard (highly recommended!).
A bit of Glastonbury on the telly with cheese and biscuits for tea (“supper” sounds too posh for me).
Breezy start to Saturday. Good washing weather (tick). Uninteresting but productive morning: took the MX5 for a spin to pep up the battery, picked some lettuce, did some admin. Similar afternoon, with very slow progress using the Virgin Atlantic website to select seats for my flights to/from Delhi. their website killed Safari, which in turn killed my mac and I had to restart. Managed some progress in Firefox, but their “this website is causing your browser to run slowly” (or some such) message surfaced at each step. Frustrating.
More admin in the afternoon, FaceTime with DF, tea and scone – during a very loud and fierce thunderstorm (featuring hailstones) and Flickred photos from the walks on Thursday and Friday.
Pottered around the garden on Sunday morning, made apple crumbles and cleaned the cupboard doors. Go me. Dad and Jean arrived at 4.30pm bearing gorgeous sweet peas and we walked down the lane to P’s party. Plenty of fizz, canapés and chat. And the rain held off – coming down with a vengeance later in the evening.
Monday started slow and rainy. A bit of a bitty day. Flickred photos and checked India’s COVID entry requirements. Read / snoozed. Drs for Diamox (tick). Dinner at T’s then back. They’re burning the brash in Stockley Coppice.
In the greenhouse the runt of the tomato seedlings, which had begun to thrive, did the thing where it wilted in its pot. I think it must be when the roots reach the egg cartons at the bottom of the pot. Lesson learned. At least the one surviving “seedling” is now a thriving plant, with flowers just starting to appear. I’m keeping it in the greenhouse this year to see how that goes.
In the garden the deutzia is in full bloom. And, since I cut the grass etc a couple of weeks ago, we’re seeing the hedge mice more often, scurrying out to snaffle fallen peanuts, and, once the birds have gone to roost, actually climbing up the pear tree to munch directly on peanut bird feeder!!!
There are still baby birds around – there’s a blue tit that hasn’t yet learned to be wary of humans (or to fly, it seems) that visits the bird feeder and on Tuesday’s walk we came across a tiny, tiny wren hopping across one of the lanes.
Plus – Moles! Yep, mole hills have materialised in the orchard and up near the swing.
Podcasts: The History of England
Photos: Herefordshire week 130 on Flickr.
Phil: w/e 2022-06-26.