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On Sunday, 9 October 2012, we did a 3 mile loop of the Wye Valley Walk along the Wye River in Wales from Tintern to Brockweir.  The fall colors were just beginning but the weather was too beautiful to pass on such a nice tromp in the countryside!

We parked in the lot for Tintern Abbey, which we previously visited.  The parking was free because the meter was out-of-order 🙂  After a car-trunk picnic we headed out with our wellies.

After a short walk through Tintern we turned North and across the Wye River on the Tintern bridge through the forest and to Brockweir.  The trail was steep at first but leveled out quickly.  The lower, river fronting, sections were quite muddy making me wish I had worn wellies as well!

Sergio and Lucas on the Wye Valley Walk

After a kilometer or so through the forest we happened upon a kind lady and her dog who recommended that we go over the gate and cut through the field and follow the trail to the Brockweir Church.  Looking at her boots we took her seriously and went over the gate.

Up and over!

The field was large, green, and the kids loved it.  I stopped to take a quick video.

After a quick tromp through the field we arrived at the town of Brockweir.  Once over the gate we were surprised and welcomed by a small church festival occurring. They welcomed us and bid us stay for the blessing of the animals as it was a celebration of St. Francis, patron saint of animals.  We had previously attended a similar affair in Olney when we took our cat Basil for a blessing – a great memory for both Sherrie and myself.

They had multiple activities for children, including making masks (Isabella and Lucas choose a frog), fishing for ducks, story time, and petting tortoises.

Isabella and Lucas with tortoises

Isabella and Lucas fish for ducks

They held a small outdoor ceremony and the children had a short story time before we left.

Reading time

They were all so welcoming and warm.  Perfect strangers coming up and conversing with us warmly.  They asked us where we were from and talked a bit about the differences in word usage (mend vs. fix, etc.).  But a nice and unexpected visit to a small Southern Welsh village.

We headed out of Brockweir and back to Tintern – an anticipated 2km.

Wye River Valley

We met a nice couple on the path with a very energetic dog with whom the children wanted to throw a stick.  The dog was more than obliging to them while we chatted about their children and grandchildren who now live in upstate New York and are naturalizing as US citizens now.

Isabella and Lucas play fetch

A few more photos on the way back to Tintern (including the kids showing off their new frog masks)…

Frog Faces

Wye River Valley

On our walk through Tintern to the car we discovered a small drainage pipe which was home to many snails…

Hole of Snails

And finally back to the car and to home!

Sherrie and Kids

Next time, instead of going to Brockweir, we’ll take the upper trail to the Devil’s Pulpit.