A great start and a disastrous finish. Last night I booked in by email at the Old Quarry Guest House, Brockton and had a pleasant exchange of emails with Tricia about evening meal etc, and I was looking forward to the morrow.
I was late off, 9:00 am, but a glorious sunny morning lead me into the Shropshire hills. What a treat. The whole trip would have been worthwhile for my first experience of this terrain. It is like a mini Lake District with more heather and gorse with good walking on established tracks. The route took me up Carding Mill Valley and over Long Mynd then all height lost again to be regained by the ascent of Stiperstones which has Marilym status. The summit is a tor of excellent (for climbing) quartzite and I had a good old scramble to get me up to the trig point. The summit ridge path is made of solid-set jagged stones the size of rugby balls all the way and is pretty hard going, not a place to have a tumble. At the end of the ridge I was caught in a heavy shower, wets on etc. for a while.
From there onwards the quality of walking deteriorated and I found myself lost in a barbed wire defended field trekking UP and DOWN looking for an exit, and I was running out of time to arrive at my B and B at a sensible time. I took a shorter road alternative for the last 2.5 miles and eventually arrived at the Cock Inn, Brockton and enquired the whereabouts of Old Quarry Guest House. Nobody had heard of it. I marched up the road, hot and bothered then realised I had the mobile number, but then I had no signal on Vodafone or Orange. I returned to the pub and a joint effort established that Quarry House was located at Brockton, Much Wenlock from where I walked yesterday to Church Stretton. Locals in the pub telephoned the Lowfield Inn a couple of miles up the road and secured a room and one of them drove me up there. I did establish contact with Tricia to apologise etc. and that will be sorted. It turns out there are four Brocktons in Shropshire!
I have just had a not very satisfactory meal of fish cakes - sloppy, not warm enough, boring, and on a huge bed of raw samphire which lacerated my throat lining as I tried to swallow it. I took the trouble to locate at the far end of the dining area, and now wondering weather to risk a pud or not a group of unknown music style is setting itself up to perform two yards from my table. I'm moving again.
Carding a ill Valley
Nearing the top
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