We decided to visit Fforest Fields again, after our March trip had been curtailed by the rain. Monday we set off in sunshine and arrived at Fforest Fields in sunshine. Yes, it was warm even enough for people to swim in the lake and take out canoes. It was also warm enough for Dragonflies and the hundreds of Azure Damselfly sitting in the reeds. Despite the swimmers, and dog in the lake, there were Coots, Moorhens and Ducks with their broods swimming at the other end.
Soon Van the Van was parked, and after a struggle, the pod was inflated and attached. I have issues with positioning the pod, this time it was far too close to the van. I should have driven off and driven back a foot further away from the pod and re-attached. Dinner sorted, we were happy campers sitting out in the evening sun watching the House Martins & Swallows.
Tuesday morning we decided on an epic walk to the Seven Stars in the River Wye valley. Unfortunately the campsite had run out of copies of their map, added to which they were not sure if the pub was open because there was a rumour that the actual licensee, had walked out the day before. We decided to set off, we walked up the hill and on the path leading across the ridge. Mixture of bracken, rough grass and (what R calls) winberries. Nothing could possibly go wrong, but, of course, it did. We alas went the wrong side of a marker, came across a fortress of a farm, where the only way through was down a terribly steep hill to the road with no guarantee of access. We decided to give up and retrace our steps. I took a detour and did find the gate which would have taken us on the correct course. We did not continue to the pub, it would have been closed by the time we reached it, anyway. The walk back was tiring, it was hot, we had done more than eight miles and had not taken water with us, expecting to find a pub at the end. Water bottles have been added to Van the Van‘s inventory.
Back at the campsite we bought a few bottles of, what proved to be very good, Welsh lager & beer. There were now a hundred copies of the map to the Seven Stars, and we were also informed that Will (one son) had gone out to paint a big arrow at the place where we had gone wrong.
Wednesday we decided on a short walk to the local Hundred House pun for lunch. The walk took us through the enchanted wood. The chickens and turkeys were still at the house where we exit to path onto the road. (Interestingly the turkeys had disappeared when we retraced our route after lunch. Rosemary suspected a turkey burger stall at the Royal Welsh Show next week.) We arrived at the pub before twelve, bought some beer and order our lunch. Outside where a couple of riders and their horses. They were doing a circular trip from Hay-on-Wye. They left after one horse destroyed a wind vane and shat outside the garden gate. The two horses and their riders were replaced with another six horses who I think were part of the same group as the other two riders.
After an enjoyable and good value lunch we walked back, but this time going by way of Telephone Mast Hill.
Thursday was spent lazing around the campsite examining the ponds in greater detail and watching the Final Cut of Blade Runner on DVD, and the making of Blade Runner. The making of Blade Runner DVD was more than three hours long! Before we started anything, we took down the pod in the dry, tomorrow our leaving day was forecast to be wet.
Friday the predicted rain had arrived and we packed away and left. The further east we drove, the drier it became. We stopped off at a National Trust house called Croft Castle. Croft Castle was one of many old homes that were nearly destroyed in the ’50s, and saved by the National Trust. Some of the home is still lived in by the Croft family. This house stands in a 1500 acre estate, and has numerous walks. I chose the one which took me to the highest point where there is an Iron age fort. This walk took me through various landscapes of grass, mixed woodland and bracken. Well worth the walk, and the rain just about held off. Lunch and tea were at the National Trust cafe.