What an absolutely great night I had last night! Okay I’ll admit it, I was slightly worse for wear because of it this morning but…face…bovered?! It felt like it’d been so long since I sat and had more than just a pint or two and knowing that I wasn’t walking today, well, that was all the excuse I needed after yesterday’s marathon walk to seriously kick back for the evening. After checking in to the Britannia Hotel and sorting myself out I had the best of intentions of going out, finding somewhere to get a decent bite to eat and then maybe hop in to a pub for a couple of well deserved pints. As it goes, that’s not quite how it went, best laid plans and all that?
Sorting out the new route to Penkridge last night I didn’t really spend a lot of time looking for an interesting or scenic route, just a simple, no hassle, straight forward walk, especially seeing as the temperature was supposed to be getting a little on the hot side. So that’s what I did, a simple route using roads/lanes all the way and a short(?) thirteen miles. Route plotted and stored on my GPS I went to bed, getting to sleep a little earlier than normal for a change, which was nice. Well, that was until I woke up at 5am. I managed to drift off again and finally started getting myself sorted out at about 6:45am. I wanted to get on the road a little earlier if possible so that I could get a few more miles done in the cooler temperature of the morning.
I had an unexpected late, but extremely pleasant, night last night. Ann, who I’d given a pack of maps to before leaving, drove up to meet me in Penkridge so that we could swap the maps I had with the ones for the coming couple of weeks. She’d been away in Germany for the week with the Birmingham Sinfonia so this was the first chance we’d had to meet. She didn’t get to Penkridge until almost 11pm after only having gotten back that evening, and not wanting to waste an opportunity we sat at the hotel bar for a couple of hours having a good natter about her time away and how the walk had been going over the last week. It was a lovely surprise after being on my own since Bath.
The place I stayed at last night – Marsh Farm B & B, thanks to Ann – was a very nice place, even if their website doesn’t really give you that impression; 1990 anyone?! The room was lovely and the breakfast was pretty good too. I think the only thing I can fault is the fact that in the room there was one window, in the roof – the room was in a converted barn and up in the eaves – but the blind that covered it didn’t really do a great job when the sun came up. Still, for £32 for the night I wasn’t complaining.
Everything seems to be conspiring against me at the moment. I guess my luck has finally run out and from here on in it’s going to be a struggle to get anything sorted or completed on this walk of mine? After the day from hell yesterday the evening did quite a lot to raise my spirits; good food, good beer, good conversation – what more could you ask for?
Even though I knew I wasn’t walking today I still didn’t want to get to bed too late so I went up to my room around 10:30pm and sat on my bed to start writing up the day’s events. About an hour in I was completely shattered and hadn’t really covered that much of the day. God knows what I was doing to make it take so long to write up. I gave up though, shut the netbook down and tried to get to sleep.
It was a bit of a foggy start this morning. Not the weather, my head. I think I drank a little too much last night with Ian and Frances – if I’m honest I knew at the time I was but I was having such a great time I didn’t care. Fortunately, all the banging around and loud TV from the night before wasn’t repeated so after saying goodbye to Ian and Frances, and writing up the day’s events, I passed out pretty quickly. I woke up at the usual 5am and lied there, quietly suffering, for another couple of hours before trying to get myself ready. Knowing that I didn’t have the longest walk ahead of me I didn’t rush around. By the time I’d sorted my stuff out, had breakfast – which I struggled to eat – and checked out, it was 9am already.
H]aving only nine miles to walk today I didn’t make too much of an effort to rush up out of bed. I’ll be honest, my legs are beginning to ache – even with the day off in Ashbourne – and I could have quite happily just stayed there all morning. That mentality certainly wouldn’t get me to the finish line any time soon so I slowly got myself sorted and went for breakfast, which was very nice indeed. Fed and gear on I settled up and started my walk to the Waterloo Inn, near Taddington. As I said, this was only a short day so I was hoping to be there by lunch and have a nice easy afternoon.