This is my love letter to Wales. I am fascinated with it's rich history and rugged landscape. Within 50 miles I can travel over 3000 years. The Bronze and Iron Ages, the Middle Ages, and the not so distant Industrial Revolution all huddle beside each other amongst these verdant valleys. This is where I ride and this is why I write.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

St. Michael's Surprise

As usual, the Tuesday ride with the Kingfishers began with the question all around; "where do you guys wanna go?" As usual, we all shrugged our shoulders and collectively said; "I dunno... where do you wanna go?". Thankfully, Clever John had notions of visiting yet another church of historical significance north of Raglan.

So out came the map and loads of scouring, pecking, and finger pointing. And then after a bit of wild gesticulating, we decided upon a route of which we were vaguely familiar. We counted lefts and we counted rights, and then we four set off. Four wobbly old men, rambling out of Usk, on a crusade to find St. Michael's Church in the village of (can you say this?) Llanvihangel-Ystern Llewern.

Okay... so the doors were locked and there wasn't much of a story once we reached the village. What was the significance of this little church, John? I dunno. I guess I'll have to look this one up later. But when I looked closer at the map I saw a strange dotted line moving along just below where we were standing.

Wait... what? I've heard of this. And it's where? Holy cow! It's right here!... just behind the church!

Yup... its a ditch. But not any ditch... it's a very old ditch... It's Offa's Dike, no less.

And that's what I love about cycling with these crazy old men in Wales. We always stumble across some sort of wonderful history.

You can just barely see the ditch in this photo...
it's the dark horizontal line running just beneath the trees.

Just look at the sky. We had one short rain shower where we huddled together under a bus shelter for about 45 minutes (should have a taken a photo!!!) and then voila... more beautiful blue sky.

A fabulous day. Thanks fellas! Cheers, cm

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