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Monday, 5 August 2013

Severn Way - day 8

Tewkesbury to Glocester - Monday 5th August

I watched the Countryfile forecast last night.

This morning I had all wets at the ready, made special arrangements to protect my tech from water ingress, and psyched myself up to walking a whole day in non stop rain.

It wasn't raining when I set off at 7:45.

Easy, flat field walking lasted until 2:00 pm then the downpour came, and at the same time still on the  SW I entered the worst section of footpath I can ever remember. ( I have just lost the rest of this post which was complete - DAMN DAMN DAMN!)

Here we go again.

At Walham a public footpath linking to the SW had been blocked with barbed wire, and I diverted on a private lane only to be accosted by the lady owner who permitted me to walk through to the SW. For about a kilometre from Walham north of Gloucester to near the city centre the footpath was TOTALLY overgrown. A plant similar to hogweed dominated at anything up to eight feet, interspersed with convolvulus, brambles and others I couldn't name. Nettles were over head height, and in the end I  just waded through them despite only wearing shorts. This is a major UK long distance footpath, and so close to the city centre this is a disgrace for Gloucester Council. I will be writing to them.

I arrived at Gloucester TIO, in the still pouring rain, dripping, bedraggled and with blood streaked legs burning all over from nettle stings, and tried to persuade them I was a suitable candidate for someone offering a bed for the nigh. The lucky winner was The New County.

Today I walked for over six hours on this national long distance path and met nobody, neither was there any place for refreshment on the route apart from three pubs which were all closed. I think that
would be unlikely on a dreish day in The Highlands. The pattern has been similar during the eight days so far - quite lonely walking.


Sir Hugh said...

That has been one of the most difficult posts I have ever done.amongst other problems, Blogger Dashboard wouldn't let me scroll beyond a certain point to correct typos. I have been at it for about two hours and now have a headache - off to bed.

Gayle said...

That just bears out my often repeated theory that "the weather in this country is seldom as bad as forecast".

It has rained at home almost all day, but it wasn't raining when I entered the office in Birmingham, nor when I left. Due to a lack of windows in the place, I have no idea what it did in between.

Sorry to hear that Blogger has been giving you trials, but glad (for my own selfish reasons of wanting to read what you've been up to) that you have persevered and triumphed.

gimmer said...

exchanging both poles advisable now, it would seem

i suspect forecasts are made more gloomy and alarming these days to avoid another 'hurricane' (or not) accusation, but, as they can also be very accurate, one has always to 'be prepared' - not that new a nostrum, of course!

I cannot really tell whether you are enjoying this part of the trek, through my home county, but maybe things and the weather will improve now you are on the tidal reach - though the famous bore goes the wrong way to buoy you effortlessly over the weedy stretches.
Nihil desperandum (neither tracks nor techs)!

Anonymous said...

Rained all day here but we've retained the Ashes mainly due the rain in Manchester. The Aussies hope they can draw the series though.
I also was perplexed by the state of the paths in Gloucester [see some of the pictures on my Geopark Way posts] and have already written to them. Did you find everybody in Gloucester fat and lazy, they are certainly not out walking their paths.
Keep going and finish the route - the weather looks better.

Roderick Robinson said...

The walking seems incidental to this latest project; the real struggle is not against your knees or the rain or the crassness of modern musical tastes. Well, you don't need me to tell you... How different Shackleton's journey would have been if he'd been up against something truly incapacitating; to have outdone Shackleton in misery, now that's really something.

Alan R said...

Just caught up with your walk and posts. It rained all day here (Monday). So you were lucky. Vodafone, i have never had much luck with them in the wilds, Orange were much better. Pity because i am back with V. I’m not sure how Martin B does it, because he is with V also and never seems to have a problem.

High Horse said...

Woke up this morning and it's not raining!It's been relentless for days - trogging on with some planning while Katie calmly dismantles the house around me.

Sir Hugh said...

Gayle - glad to hear you are following.

Gimmer - the trouble with the poles is that after the first swipe the vegetation gets wrapped round the stick and you can't extract it, so there is no satisfaction and you soon get fed up with it.

BC - I have by-passed Gloucester today; details on next post. It will be interesting to compare notes with you later.

RR - Shackleton's exploits were beyond comprehension and I am sure many people just can't begin to grasp how he and his crew all survived. These walks are physically hard, and what happens is that everything becomes a routine which the human seems glad to slot into, and you just plod on moment by moment, day by day. I have written elsewhere about the attractions and motivations.

Alan R - good to hear from you. I have just arrived at Upper Framilode - you'll have to do a it of research to find where that is, unless by some chance you were born there. Vodafone is in and out, but I have got free wi-fi.

Roderick Robinson said...

Alas I wasn't clear enough. Suppose S had had to wrestle with a faulty Iphone. True misery.

gimmer said...

for elongated bill hooks was what i meant !

Gayle said...

My recollection of when I was on Vodafone (which was for the LEJOG blogging) was that I got service every day (not all day, but at some point during the day) in Scotland, but that it was a bit patchier in England. In fact, I recall that I didn't get any service at all for the first three or four days of our Coast to Coast. I'm now on Orange (as was Martin, last I knew, unless he changed when he got his latest phone) and seldom have trouble blogging on the move (but then my phone doesn't do 3g, so I don't need a good signal - I just need a signal).

Sir Hugh said...

RR - one of S's strengths was not letting his men know if he was miserable. I seem to be revelling in my miseries with my readers, but it's all good stuff for the blog.

Gimmer - bill hooks sounds better. What we need is that machine they used for boring the ChannelL Tunnel..

Gayle _ I think it's just a lottery really. You can't keep changing depending on the area you intend to visit