Walk completed August 28, 2011

Friday, June 24, 2011

Day 24 -- Easton-in-Gordano to Chepstow (Wales)

Today’s walk would take me on a route across the River Avon, through parks in Bristol, through farmland pastures northwest of Bristol, and finally across the River Severn into Wales. It was to be perhaps the longest mileage day of the entire walk. The guidebook says 19 miles. I left the B&B this morning following the route through the village of Pill, to the cycleway which leads across the Avon. At the start of the cycleway, there was a gentleman relaxing on a bench reading a book. I gave him my usual “good morning” and continued on. He immediately jumped up, grabbed a small backpack, and ran after me. I was a little startled by somebody chasing me until he shouted my name. He identified himself as Don Gray – you remember, the angel of the Mendips.

Don has probably walked with nearly every lejoger or jogler who has passed through, including Daryl May, and more recently, Jack Frost. My recollection is that he also walked last year with Steve, Russ and possibly Andy and Alfie, and Pete and Gyp. I think he missed JP, and don’t remember about Gary, Rich, and Goeff.

Nostalgic gas pumps
I asked Don how he knew where to find me, and he said he follows the blog and merely waits at an obvious “pinch point” where everybody must go. He knew that if I was going to cross the Avon today, I had to use the cycleway over the bridge.

Blaise Castle
Don narrated our walk like a tour guide and opened my eyes to things I would have otherwise missed. The route out of Bristol passes through some fabulous city parks, and Don pointed out where the property had been formerly estates of extremely wealthy landowners. Blaise Castle is a mock castle built by the landowner in Victorian times, merely so the landowner would have a view of a castle from the home.

Following Don
Perhaps as importantly, Don gave my brain a rest day, because he knows the route and all I had to do was follow along.

Don at Severn Bridge
We finally parted company at the Severn Bridge where I walked on to Wales, and Don returned home.

A brisk side-wind with spitting rain was blowing the entire walk across the bridge. About ¾ of the way across, I was overtaken by a cyclist who had large pannier bags affixed to his bike. I knew he wasn’t just riding for exercise, so I hailed him down. Gary is a young Scot, lives near Glasgow, and is cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats. He left Land’s End four days ago. Hmmm, three weeks vs. four days. I wonder what bicycles cost in the UK. There’s probably a store in Chepstow. At least cycling would transfer the pain from the feet to another part of the body. Oh well, pain is pain, and which body part is affected is unimportant.

My feet are sore from walking, but nothing serious. Tomorrow will be a forced rest day, because I bypassed Cheddar and now I’m a day ahead of schedule. Having booked Offa’s Dyke in advance, I now have two days in Chepstow. I’m actually looking forward to the rest.

© 2011 Ken Klug

1 comment:

  1. Oh, that explains all those extra credit card charges I've been finding :-)

    Jack Frost