Day 14

on May 22, 2010 | 7 comments

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Street to Binegar

After the late posting last night I managed my typical five hours sleep before waking up. I did however manage to doze a little bit afterwards so that was good as I wasn’t in the mood for rushing around after yesterday’s efforts!

To be honest, when I first started to potter around this morning I wasn’t sure if I’d be walking today or checking to see if the room was available for another night. As it goes, after hobbling up the road for breakfast, which was a lot better than the day before, it felt like the pains would ease. So, I packed up, checked out and hit the road with just over seventeen miles ahead of me.

Getting burnt on my arms yesterday I decided to put on one of my long sleeve tops to try and stop them getting any worse. I was also on the look out for a shop to buy some sun cream as the lot I had I gave to Matt after the first day’s walking to lighten the load, clearly not expecting a mini heat wave like we’re currently experiencing?!

I headed up the A39, which had a path thankfully, and before not too long I was making my way in to Glastonbury. I must admit, the outskirts of Glastonbury, with their falling apart offices and buildings didn’t really warm me to the place but once in the town centre things were much nicer. I found a post box to get the postcard I’d written the girls sent off and I found a Boots too so I now have sun cream in my pack…just need to remember to use it now!

I walked by the abbey ruins but not wanting to stop at such an early stage I didn’t bother going in to see them. I guess that’ll have to be something I do another time I’m in the area?

As I was leaving Glastonbury I noticed the rubber stopper on my pole had worn through – already?! – so I stopped to take the one off my other pole for the time being to get me through the day. I reached round to find my other pole but I couldn’t find it. I took my pack off and indeed the other pole was nowhere to be seen – bugger!

I have no idea when that came off but my suspicions are that while struggling over those crappy styles and fences yesterday afternoon, one of the times my pack got a little caught up, the pole came off. What a waste of £43! Hopefully I’ll be able to replace it before I get to the big hills later on down the line. This was turning out to be a bit of a bad day.

Out of Glastonbury, ahead of me was a very long, very straight, very boring stretch of road called the Long Drove. It was about two and a half miles long and it was dead straight. Now, when you’re walking the twists and turns of the average road seem to somehow make the distance shorter, probably because it feels like little sections maybe? Having two and a half miles stretching out in front of you, with nothing to break it up, is a daunting task. Just looking up the road and seeing it stretch off in to the distance is almost soul destroying!

I trudged my way along it for what seemed like hours with only the odd tree giving me some shade from the hot sun. Their were some farmers in their tractors working in the fields which was a little distraction from the monotony of the road, but I breathed a huge sigh of relief when I eventually made it to the end.

After yesterday’s long grass, walking on nice, level, straight roads, although boring, was a welcome change. Well, this was until the road round Launcherley went up and up and up. It’d been a few days since I last had to tackle a decent hill and this, along with the heat, was a bit of a struggle I must admit.

I made it though and was soon making my way in to Dulcote. The first thing I noticed was that a lot of the buildings were named “Fountain” something or other, e.g. Fountain Cottages, Fountain Barn and so on. I didn’t quite get it until I came to a junction in the middle of the village and there was a little fountain coming out of what looked like a huge boulder. Strange.

Like a nightmare returning, the footpath I took from Dulcote to Dinder took me across a few fields, all of which had ankle to knee length grass – no, not again! Fortunately it was only about half a mile but boy did it take it out of me. I can’t tell you how exhausting that is, especially in the midday heat and carrying all that weight. Not nice at all.

The other side of the grass nightmare was the local cricket pitch – nice short grass – and after all that effort I was beginning to get hungry and thirsty. Spotting a style on the other side I made my way over to it, dropped my gear and sat there in the shade to have my lunch.

Lovely though it is to stop it’s never pleasant getting going again. My feet screamed at me and for some reason, these last two days I’ve really felt the weight of the pack on my back and shoulders. Still, with a fair few miles to go there was no time to grumble.

Well, that was until I got out the other side of Dinder and the road I needed to take just seemed to go up hill forever! I was having a tough time of it already with the heat and levels of energy after yesterday but this, it nigh on did me in by the time I finally reached the top, some three miles down the road!

By this point I was really beginning to struggle and I knew there wasn’t much left in reserve for the day. I checked my map and noticed a couple of miles up the road there were two pubs, in a place called Binegar. Great I thought, time to stop for a well earned rest and, depending on how I felt, maybe see if one of them had rooms for the night and stop there.

As far as the route for the day went it was only a couple of miles short, and as everyone so kindly reminded me today, this is supposed to be enjoyable not punishment! Besides which, Matt and I had struggled go find anywhere to stay where I was heading for so this seemed like a perfect plan.

This spurred me on to reach Binegar sooner rather than later and it wasn’t long before I was at the junction in the middle of the village. Looking left I spotted the Horse and Jockey Inn so, as it was the closest of the two pubs to where I was, I decided to go and have a pint and to see if they did rooms for the night.

What a great choice it was. I walked in to the bar and it was like I was one of the locals. Everyone was absolutely great and really friendly. I ordered my pint and sat down to chat with them all. It was great to have a good laugh and a joke seeing as my mood had been a nit down today – more on that later.

Obviously, by virtue of the way I was dressed and the pack I’d laboured in to the pub, the conversation got on to what I was doing and the LEJOG conversation was once again conducted. They loved it and were really interested in it all.

They asked if I had a sponsor sheet but I told them I didn’t as I was doing all that through my site. I did mention that some people had given me donations kn the road and instantly Mike and Rodge gave me a fiver each and Zena and her daughter Molly gave me a couple of pounds, one of which was from Molly’s pocket money.

I’ve said it so many times already I’m beginning to sound like a broken record but, the generosity f the people I’ve met so far has been really heart warming and inspiring.

Unfortunately the pub didn’t do rooms but they soon found the number of someone who did just up the road and sorted it out for me – what a great bunch indeed!

Quote of the day from one of the guys in the bat: a quick shag’s all well and good but I’d rather play a good game of dominoes!

With that done it was time for the pub to close so they gave me directions to the B & B and I said goodbye, with a promise of returning later for dinner. Whether my feet want to or not I’ll be doing that walk after the hospitality and kindness they all showed me this afternoon.

Now, back to my mood today. As all of you on Facebook already know, today was a tough day. I don’t know what brought it on but again I found myself crying on and off for the best part of the day. I really missed my family, as it was before the brown stuff hit the fan, and I couldn’t seem to pull myself together.

I want to thank everyone for their messages and support today, it really did help and means the world to me. You’re all absolutely amazing and I promise you, I have plans for a big party after I get back and it’d be great to see as many of my friends and family there as possible. You all give me so much strength to carry in every day…don’t you ever forget that!

I’ll leave it there for now before I start to cry again. Time to go to the pub for dinner and cider!

Photos and Route Details

If you want to find out more about this day you can see the photos I took or view the route details.

7 Comments

  1. Russ

    May 22, 2010

    I’m waiting for the day you walk into a pub and everybody stops, and someone says “I never miss that dartboard”!

    • Darren

      May 24, 2010

      It hasn’t happened yet but I’ll be sure to run out the door if it ever does…very quickly!

  2. Matt

    May 24, 2010

    I have to admit Bruv I’m not jealous of the miles you are walking, especially in the heat we are experiencing, but I am jealous of all these amazing generous people you are meeting! Surely all these people make this amazing adventure worth while!

    • Darren

      May 24, 2010

      I have met some real characters so far on this trip and Dave – the old boy at the pub – was such a character. Long may it continue on this adventure of mine!

  3. Matt

    May 24, 2010

    You know we should go back and visit some of these amazing people in the car sometime bruv!

    • Darren

      May 24, 2010

      I’m keeping a list of places I’d like to go back to after the walk’s done. So far on the list:

      1) Greenham Hall – that place was amazing.
      2) Binegar, or more to the point the Horse and Jockey – they were great.

      I’m sure the list will get longer as I make my way up the country.

  4. Matt

    May 24, 2010

    I’m sure it will bruv!!