I reached the hostel. It was closed.
The doors locked, the lights off, just a single light on in a bedroom above the central door. Oh no way. I rattled the doors, I knocked, I chucked gravel up at the lit window, I shouted out. Nothing.
I looked at my phone, 4% battery. I still had the webpage for the hostel open.
"Is the hostel open all year? Yes" it said. I rang the number it gave, it was diverted to another hostel, and went to answermachine. I rang three more times, battery 1%, phone went dead.
Oh God dammit, I was going to have to sleep in the wet tent again. It's a great tent, except for one problem. In the mornings, there is condensation inside and outside, so when I put the tent down, it all soaks together and everything gets wet. All day, rolled up and strapped to my rucksack and I put up a wet tent to sleep in. Third day running and I felt fed up. It's not so bad, as long as you don't touch the sides.
It took a good hour for my feet to stop throbbing, in all the many ways in which they do. In the bones, in the ankles, in the tendons underneath. I rubbed them and stretched and rubbed them and stretched until finally they felt better. I'd gone too far and, in the end, for nothing.
I got up this morning feeling rubbish, grumpy about the hostel and my feet sending stabs of pain into my ankles. Too far yesterday means I need to take it easy today, it's a precarious balance, if I push myself too hard I'll have to stop, I can feel that my feet can't take it. I walked until Myddfai where I found a visitor centre with lots of polite and interested people who donated loads of money - that made me feel better. They also mentioned a bunkhouse in Llandovery, I felt like I was owed a bed. Bish bash bosh, I made it to The Level Crossing Bunkhouse and stopped. So it's been a kind of half day, even though I walked 8 miles. But I think I needed it.
It's another 30+ miles over the green desert, through the Elan Valley and around the reservoirs to Elan Village, my next chance of a shower.
In order to balance out the grumpy hostel complaining I will also mention four beautiful things I saw today -
The early morning fog lying low in the valleys down the hill from the hostel.
The sun suddenly shining over the hill as I sat outside the Red Kite Pub eating breakfast, lighting the remaining leaves on the trees with a pure yellow light.
Pausing my stride as I came down the hill into a silent, peaceful wooded valley and seeing a heron glide below me around the curve of a small river.
Helping tired, stranded worms to cross safely to the other side of the road.