Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Further along the Severn.

Where was I? Oh yes, was in Shrewsbury - Saturday night.

Well, we had a cracking good Ruby Murray at The Masala, a few jars at The Hop and Friar. A thoroughly good evening, which I ended with a nightcap in The 'Hop' and a donation from the lovely landlady to pop in the fund - still looking for a 'Yorkshire' to pay it in to!

So, Sunday morning was a bit hectic leaving Shrewsbury for the 20-miler to Bridgnorth. Liz's hubbie Mark was again shifting bags, Shrewsbury was very busy with both a marathon and half marathon going on - people everywhere, traffic everywhere. Mark was blocked in, we were a a tad late getting bags together, but at around 10.10 we left. Mark got his car out, the marathon runners got wet as the rains came, and off we plodded towards Bridgnorth.

The drizzle started pretty early, and kept on coming. Eventually this became sporadic showers, with just very brief sunny interludes. The sunny interludes became shorter, and the showers became longer. By mid afternoon the showers had become steady rain; lovely ." Is Wimbledon about to start?", I thought. Of course, Wimbledon often means rain in the unpredictable English summer!

The last few miles into Bridgnorth were a bit of a struggle, wet feet, tired feet, but made it to The Bear Inn by 6.30. A lovely little pub/hotel, very well run by a lovely lady called Kim.

The other pub, the bottom pic is The Harp. I'd pre-arranged to meet a friend for the evening, and The Harp fitted the bill perfectly. We had a splendid evening, music on, decent ale, and a great atmosphere.

The following morning Kim at The Bear cooked up a lovely breakfast, and very kindly added a tenner to my charity fund. Thank you very much Kim, very much appreciated! The Bear, by the way, is a very clean, comfortable, and excellent value place to stay, recommended!

So, leaving Bridgnorth on Monday morning - into week 7 now , and well over two thirds done at around 650 miles on the foot clock - my wonderful friend Jayne Peck came to meet us in Bridgnorth to collect bags and very kindly take them to our next stop in Stourport-on-Severn, where she lives.

Several good friends have been doing us favours by transporting bags, and Jayne - with another lovely friend Caroline - took the bags to Stourport, ready for us when we got there much later, thank you very much ladies!

So, an 18 mile walk along the banks of the Severn - leaving late at 10.30 - shouldn't have posed too many problems...until yours truly had an attack of 'DOH!'.
Well, I had noticed we were in 'Homer Country', so maybe an little cock-up was on the cards!
Just after taking a couple of pics as we left Bridgnorth, I put my camera-phone back in my pocket, but like a dope I ommitted to zip up my fleece pockets!

The Severn at Bridgnorth.
Around a mile and a half later I was a tad warm, so stopped to remove my fleece jacket. Reaching in to my pockets for my tobacco tin and phone - tin, yes, phone - NO! DOH!
Well the long and short of all that was that I had lost my phone somewhere on the first, quite muddy and overgrown - part of the path. Liz had caught me up, so she carried on and I went back to retrace my steps as best I could and try to find my phone. I went all the way back, but no luck. I searched the path the other way, but still nothing. I became resigned to losing it, but hey ho, that's life. I would need to get a new one. I gave it up and got on with catching up on the time lost.
When I finally caught up with Liz, she had rang the phone and someone had heard it and found it. Phew! So, I ran back another mile and a half and collected the phone from a nice lady called Alison, who had found it. Thanks Alison!!
So, now a long way behind the clock, I got a quick march on and caught up with Liz after an hour.
We had another 12 miles to do, and it was 2.30 p.m.!!
We pushed on - stopping only occasionally to grab a pic or two - through swarms of pesky river flies in the wet, warm, summer conditions.

The last two pics being of The Severn Valley Railway, which runs alongside the river for much of the time, and is a lovely rail journey, on an old steam train!
When we got to Bewdley it was very nearly 6 o'clock, and with 3 miles still left to do, the road was the quicker option - especially as Liz was having trouble with her feet, so we plodded on to Stourport and arrived at the guesthouse at 7.15, a long day!!
Last evening my wonderful and helpful friend Jayne invited us for dinner- though Liz was tired and had to decline the offer in favour of more rest - I joined Jayne and lovely family for a truly wonderful evening meal, complete with yummy rhubarb crumble for afters. Thank you so much Jayne, that went down an absolute treat, and your family were so lovely and welcoming!!
Jayne and Caroline are also very kindly moving our bags on again today - to Worcester. The sun is shining brightly, no clouds around, here's hoping for a lovely day today, and no problems!
Alec Hawkes - Milko on the plod for charity. 25.06.13
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Thank you!

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