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Friday, 29 May 2015

Edgehill to Long Compton

Day 9. Friday 29th May

The Castle at Edgehill was brilliant. The only downside was the number of flights of steep steps to access my castle-top room, the final flight being a tight spiral staircase.

On the way to being shown to that room I tripped slightly on, I think, the third flight of stairs, and the staff member, recognising yet another geriatric grabbed my rucksack and continued up the remaining flights and the spiral whilst I struggled on behind with my rickety knees, and now a dodgy ankle.

I had arranged for a pre-prepared breakfast to take to my room because they only served from 8:00am. I was presented, in the bar, with a plate nearly a foot square with two slices of Chef's munchy cake, grapes, an apple, a bowl of fresh strawberries and raspberries, and a wine cooler containing two pots of fruit yoghurt on ice. If you had given me a thousand pounds I don't think I could have got that lot to my room in one go. The lady manageress took over and arrived with it all five minutes after me. That must have been an heroic carry.

During my meal a middle aged couple at the next table were choosing from the menu. Her main gripe was that all dishes seemed to include one small ingredient she didn't like, then she said, "I would really like to try samphire" then she ordered a rib-eye steak.

In view of breakfast under my control I was walking by 7:15 am. Torrential rain started about 10:00. It was flowing down a road I was on like a river, and passing cars were to say the least a nuisance. Intermittent sunshine, freezing cold wind and occasional small rain showers ruled for the rest of the day - my waterproof and rucksack rain cover remained in use all day.

There were tremendous wide ranging views to the north-west and then varied walking through little villages so pretty with the Cotswold stone, but shopless and lifeless. I reckon there is a whole different social agenda in this deep true blue region. A couple of days back I met a couple who were serious walkers, but lived locally, but only of modest means and they said that anybody like them who had a normal working lifestyle were excluded from the social life in their village. Have a walk through here and you will discover where the power lies in this country.

At Butler's farm I had a great welcome, pot of tea and homemade ginger cake (apparently I got the last piece that hubby had got his eye on). We spent ages using their phone trying to find me accommodation in Stowe-on-the-Wold and I ended up booking the one remaining bed in the male dormitory at the YHA - I'm not looking forward to that, but I can't stay at posh hotels every night, and I doubt if there is anything there less than £100 per night.

When they serve strawberries why do they leave the stalk on for you to remove, especially when it is mixed up with custard or cream - messy!

The Malverns in the far distance I think

Old Roman road

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