Ruth is now officially a dwarf, well she said she feels a lot shorter after wearing a few more cm off her legs along the the 164km from Chipping Campden to Bath.
The walk, despite several rather wet days, was well worth the effort, we saw a reasonable chunk of England at a pace that at times allowed us to have an in-depth study of how snails move.
We loved the friendliness of the locals we met along the way, often out in the middle of nowhere. The older woman backpacking her grocieries across a steep hill from a nearby town to the village she lived in because she enjoyed the view. The Irish lady walking her dog in the hills, told us, amongst other things, that she had left Ireland in her youth because her parents wanted to spend money giving her a fancy university education. She had taught nurses how to communicate and was excited to find someone (us) who were not walking along looking at our phones giving her the opportunity to talk to us. We had to fess up that we do often look at our phone, it is necessary to find out where we are. We immediately proved our point by pointing at a nearby city and saying that we were headed to Bath. “Thats Bristol, Bath is on the other side of the hill” she said waving her arm at what appeared to be a far off place.
The many villages we passed through or near with names like; Old Sodbury, Chipping Sodbury, Sodbury, Cold Ashton, Wotton-Under-Edge, Waterly Bottom, Pennsylvania, to name a few.
Pub meals (nothing much else available), that rangd from standard fish and chips or sausages to more sophsiticated offerings. Usually more than adequate but like all food in the UK, expensive.
I mentioned in the last post the different types of environments we walked through, we added peoples backyards, a racecourse and of course the city streets of Bath where Ruth strolled along with her walking poles looking like a minature version of Livingstone or Stanley. However, the sight of shops got her eyes twinkling and put an energy into her step that I have not seen for a few days.
After one final fling of rain, the weather steadily improved and on the final day we were greeted with clear blue sky and a 4c starting temperature. It warmed up though and we had a very pleasant walk through to Bath. Contrary to my perception back in NZ, the last day was a very pretty walk and we did not break into the city until about a km from the finish line.
Would we do such a long walk again? without any doubt, like cycling it is a great way to see a country if you have the time.
Off to Ireland on Monday. Oh dear, just looked at the weather forecast for the next 10 days, we are going to miss their hottest and driest day today (17c), we won’t pack the rain gear too deeply into the bags.