The Swan let me help myself to juice, cereal, and toast this morning at 7:00 am before their normal starting time of 7:30, so I was off to a good start. It turned out that was a good job.
I am now at a stage when I plan a long distance walk it will unavoidably coincide with a previous one. Today, out of Bradford I walked a short stretch on the Kennrt and. Avon Canal which I walked in its entirety in 2013.
Again it has been a pleasant day of walking with variety and good weather. The distance of about fourteen miles is not a problem for me, but today, in particular, the route was split into many short sections which involves frequent references to the Macmillan Guide (dismembered) and the map on my IPhone including GPS, and on some occasions using the compass. Each stop may take a minute or two, and in some cases much longer figuring out where the route goes, and indeed checking that I am still on it. That slows average speed down enormously and so does rugged terrain. There were few sections today where I could walk for an extended period at a good pace. Consequently the approximate fourteen miles took me ten hours. Country walking is much more demanding on navigation than mountain walking. I did stop for twenty minutes at a super post office come café in Frode - coffee as good as any for sometime.
I have now moved well out of the Cotswolds which looking back seemed almost like a separate country reserved for the wealthy. One noticeable change is the accent - well into the West Country, but not yet quite the full rich, rounded brogue.
I met my second bee keeper. He was busy and couldn't really talk being fully suited whilst playing with his hives. I walked on up the track and ten minutes later he pulled up in his 4x4 and apologised for not talking, and then I had a ten minute detailed talk on bee keeping which I think would have been of great help to the previous guy I met who had lost his swarm.
Arriving in Nunney I asked a couple where was Clare's cottage and they directed me.
Clare at Market Place Cottage has given me help above and beyond. She quickly understood my requirement to book ahead for tomorrow night. She just disappeared and must have made over a dozen phone calls before we found a vegetarian farmhouse at Wyke Champflower (more of that later). Clare's is a classy B and B where I have a full suite including sitting room, bedroom and bathroom all tastefully and interestingly presented.
As I entered the pub for my meal the guy who had given me directions was stood outside and we exchanged greetings and he followed me in. I confirmed my table reservation and ordered a pint and was then told it was "on Steve". This seems to be another village with a strong community spirit - long may they thrive.
Back to the B and B now to do photos - forgot to bring the camera again.
The Swan at Bradford-on-Avon
On the Kennet and Avon Canal
The post office café at Frode - excellent coffee
Click to enlarge if needed. I bet he was well proud when he'd composed that
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