After finding the free car park and a quick coffee in Monmouth, we got aboard the "Chepstow Classic". Slightly disappointingly following the grand title this turned out to be a small bus with only 2 other passengers. We arrived in Chepstow and headed down to the river to see Chepstow Castle.
Leaving Chepstow we headed up through Lancaut Nature Reserve. The hills are covered in beautiful woods, for about 4 hours we walked through the woods without crossing a road.
The struggle to finish the last couple of miles to St Briavel's Castle Youth Hostel was soon forgotten with the excitement of exploring the castle. In the evening we made for the village pub to watch England play USA in what may turn out to be England's best game in the World Cup.
Our stay at the hostel was a great success. On Sunday we headed down the road towards the river. We followed the Trail through open beech woods and down to Redbrook. For the last few miles we followed the River Wye to Monmouth. A great weekend enjoyed by everyone. The traditional introduction to backpacking completed. Can something be a tradition if it has only happened twice?