Fired up by the revelation of running and the freedom that walking without backpacks were given, we felt newly galvanised as we continued to head north, our next leg Hay on Wye to Welshpool. While there were still frustrations along the way, we made the most of the quirky discoveries we continued to make as well as really starting to think about what we, Ellen and Alex, could be. It’s here that In the Welsh Wind started to take shape.

It’s hard to describe the elation and exuberance I felt after walking almost double our usual distance and topping the day off by running into Hay on Wye. From the moment we started our walk, Alex had set his watch to indicate the miles with an annoying ‘bleep’ On the difficult days, the space between the bleeps had seemed endless. I remember wishing for the bleep to come, indicating that we really were making progress. I couldn’t believe how quickly we covered the miles on our walk from Pandy to Hay on Wye, and how the mileage bleeps seemed to speed up when I was running.

Recovery

While it felt like a watershed, of course, after a day covering 20 miles, including some running, it’s not surprising that we were pretty knackered the next day. But there are many worse places to spend a day off than Hay on Wye, so we made the most of it. Setting up camp Hay on Wye to WelshpoolWe mooched round the castle and enjoyed tapas while taking advantage of wifi. We spread out our maps and planned the next stretch of the journey with renewed enthusiasm for what we were achieving. We knew we needed to make our way to Llangollen where Alex’s parents had booked us the luxury of a stay in a B&B opposite a wine bar. The question was, which route to follow.

Hay on Wye to Welshpool

Refreshed from our day off, we left Hay on Wye and walked up and over into New Church. The church here had played some part in sheltering royalty following a battle and long journey, and the villagers now provide refreshments to travellers from the church. We sat in the sunshine to enjoy this small act of generosity, revelling in a cup of tea and a biscuit, chatting to other walkers. From here, we made our way to Gladestry in search of a campsite. The pub was open when we arrived, and on making enquiries, we discovered that to camp where we had planned would be way outside our budget and offer little in terms of useful facilities. With no where to do some washing, we decided to push on. Unable to secure a taxi to take us to Kington, we had to man – or woman – up and walk another 5 miles. Where in the past, it might have been Alex who would have been the motivator in the face of similar adversity, this time, I felt strong enough to assume that role. We’d planned to stay at Gladestry and having reached what we thought was our destination for the night, it was hard to summon the energy to get back out and walk another 5 miles, but we had to do it.

One foot in front of the other, we made it, enjoying beautiful panoramic views of where we had come over the last few days. Rewarded with a beautiful shower, I heard an ice cream van in the distance. Moments later, all my dreams came true when Alex brought me an ice cream – a screwball, my childhood favourite – while I was still in the shower. Heaven.

The Welsh Wind blowing stronger

By now, our conversations were turning to thoughts of the future – not just the immediate future of the walk around Wales, but what we would do. In the Welsh Wind had started out as a fanciful concept for the walk. It was a moniker we’d coined to encompass what we were trying to achieve in the short term – to step out of life and disappear for a few short weeks. By the time we reached Hay, we’d already proved to ourselves that our relationship was as strong as it ever had been and that we were ready to work together for whatever the future might hold – but what could that be? Wild horses Hay on Wye to WelshpoolAt this stage in the walk, Hay on Wye to Welshpool, we were ready to start thinking about how we could take all that In the Welsh Wind had come to mean to us, and turn it into something more, whether that was a book, and adventure blog or something different altogether.

Our journey continues as we build our new gin distillery on the west coast of Wales. Follow us day to day on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and sign up to our mailing list here.

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