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Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Severn Way - day 9

Gloucester to Upper Framilode - Tuesday 6th August

The Severn takes a big loop to the west from Gloucester but after yesterday's experience of local path maintenance I walked on roads out of the city to Hempsted and the road end. The SW path from here was again a nightmare jungle and I took another alternative walking down the Gloucester and Sharpness canal ON A WELL FOUND towpath, then to Stonebeach by road. From here after a three hundred yard jungle thrash I was back on easy ground. That jungle could have been avoided by continuing on the road to Weir Green.

Walking for the rest of the day on the raised bank was easy and enjoyable with much improved weather. Once again I met nobody walking on the SW all day, but I did have two exciting encounters.

Entering a large field a herd of about ten young bullocks were already looking frisky. When they saw me they immediately registered their terror by running amok. They all scattered, desperate to escape, some leaping and breaking a fence into the next field, and one that just burst it's way through a barbed wire fence, who needs wire cutters, just get yourself a well trained young bullock. In the next field was a large herd of cows, perhaps forty. Terrorised by the young bullocks it was Way out West stuff with a full stampede all heading off into the distance of the very large field. Whether anybody headed them off at the pass I will never know. Next I saw the rather pretty young farmer's wife emerging from the farm, and I reckoned I was due for a telling off, but it turned out they were her neighbour's cows and she is fed up of them breaking bounds and upsetting her peaceful herd. She said I had done everything right as she watched me trying to be as unintimidating as possible by diverting my route and taking a wide berth, but all to no avail. We had some further pleasant chat and I was on my way.

Approaching a stile into a field entering Epney there were two large, thoroughbred racing type horses, and they like the bullocks were all frisky, must be something in the air. They wouldn't budge as I climbed the stile, but I shooed them off, and it was like the start of the Grand National. They set off galloping down the raised narrow banking, fence on the left and shrubbery on the right. They covered the two hundred yards to the next stile in seconds, and then turned coming straight back at me at full gallop - my god, the noise, power and size of these beasts was frightening. As I covered that two hundred yards the horses repeated their racecourse three times - was I glad to be over that next stile.

The Anchor Inn at Epney was not particularly welcoming and they charged me £3 for a pint of orange and lemonade - that is now a record.

Just the opposite another half kilometre down the road at The Ship Inn where I am now booked in with a good welcome and a spacious double room. This is becoming a real luxury trip with hotels and b and bs, and a bit expensive, but I think I've got to the age where I am less inclined to live the hard life, and the walking is hard enough with this knee which continues to bother in varying degrees all the time.

Tomorrow I will end up only about 6 kilometres from where I am now in a straight line, but I have to take in a 12 kilometre loop on the river.

All goes well: tech fully charged, clothes washed, sun shining, and I'm well fed and watered, looking forward to tomorrow.
Sent from my iPad


gimmer said...

that sounds a 'fantastic' day - somehow I felt that the levees would do you fine - i've been afeared of cattle ever since an encounter with a big cow just back from where you were yesterday! a while or five ago, admittedly

Anonymous said...

Just come in from Longridge Fell - wonderful clear warm evening - and read your post, can't stop laughing at your animal encounters. Brilliant.

Gayle said...

Killer bullocks and killer horses in one day? I'm not sure my nerves could have taken it!

John J said...

Overgrown & blocked footpaths irritate me no end - especially when they make up part of a long distance path.

Local authorities are keen for walkers to use their paths but seem unwilling to keep these rights of way clear.

(aka Miffed of Timperley)

Roderick Robinson said...

Coming back from Runswick Bay to the caravan at Ellerby (more than two lifetimes ago) we were crossing a large field and a group of carthorses decided to thunder from one corner to the other, then back. "It's all right, they're only frisky," said Mrs Hutton (Chub's ma) but most us remained unconvinced. Including, several seconds later, Mrs Hutton herself who ran straight through a hedge in order to escape.

I see "frisky" crops up in your account. I wondered if the word, converted into electro-magnetic waves, had somehow winged its way into the ether and continued to circle the earth during the intervening sixty-odd years until finally picked up by the superheterodyne circuit you have become. Or, even more unlikely, it had embedded itself in your sub-conscious in what was a quite traumatic moment.

One thing you can be glad of - there were no time warps abroad at the time. Had you been fiddling with, and cursing at, your wretched Mac device then you would have been fodder for those steel hooves.

High Horse said...

Morning Dad! After a few days of cabin fever with all the rain we ventured out and went to Sizergh Castle. I ended up joining the National Trust! Katie really took to her new membership and got stuck straight in........ She ran round Sizergh Castle like a wild thing waking up the old crusties in every room, climbing up on furniture and smearing fingers all over glass cabinets - we had a blast!!! Wonder what the youngest member to be banned is and how quickly after joining???

Sir Hugh said...

Gayle and JJ - thanks for your comments.

rR - I had a good laugh reading that as I was stting off this morning. I do have a vague recollection of the incident, but not of the presence of Mrs Hutton.

Sir Hugh said...

High Horse - glad to hear you're having a good time. You will have to see if you can make up the cost of joining the NT by taking advantage o of the free carpal ping for members.

Anonymous said...

(aka Miffed of Timperley) I'm with you -
I always report footpath problems to the appropriate authorities.
Must keep the pressure on in these frugal times.