DAY 44: Wem to Shrewsbury – 12 miles
And it was going so well… until 2:30am when it suddenly started to rain. With the main section of the bivi circling my head completely open, I woke immediately and then had to try unclip it before me and everything inside got wet… Half asleep and in the dark, this took ages as I ended up doing it up again first by mistake, so then had to un-do it twice before I could zip everything closed. Which left me now with a big dilemma; how much should I leave the zip open to stop the condensation from my breath soaking the inside vs how much could I leave the bivi unzipped to keep the rain out. All this action and thinking, by now I was completely awake so spent the next half hour or so tinkering with these two opposing scenarios to try and stay as dry as possible. Realising that the only solution was not to breath (or use a snorkel) it really was a lose lose situation. And when I discovered that the whole head section of my sleeping bag was wet, there was nothing else for it than to abandon bivi.
With the rain still coming down, I retreated to the toilet/shower block with all my stuff in tow – and for the next hour or so attempted to dry everything out. I also tried to get my head down on the shower room floor but that was virtually impossible, so in the end I simply sat there waiting for the sun to come up and tomorrow to begin. I couldn’t even use the time wisely by getting a few hours walking under my belt as unfortunately I had left my battery pack charging in the laundry room when I had gone to sleep, and this room was now locked!
By 9am the office/shop had opened so I managed to get a few hot drinks and some freshly baked pastries inside me, I retrieved my battery pack and took photos of all the cute animals that lived on the campsite. I now needed to find somewhere extra cosy to stay tonight in Shrewsbury to make up for all this, so rang the number for a B&B which had been suggested by the couch surfing host who I was originally supposed to stay with. Sonia initially said they were full however after some discussion, she said there was one room she could offer me and she even offered a discount to bring it in line with my budget. So with that sorted and the fact that I didn’t have so far to walk today, I decided to stop back in Wem town for more coffee and a huge sausage bagutte.
Of course, just as I set off for Shrewsbury the rain returned and basically my journey today along a nondiscript B-road and even more boring A-road was so average, that I hardly remember anything about it now (and animals aside, I only took two photos all day). I do remember stopping half way along at a nice big pub to get out of the rain and warm up, where I also ended up having a late lunch of cheap n cheerful chilli con carne. Which meant by the time I finally arrived at Trevillion House in Shrewsbury, I didn’t need to go anywhere else but to bed. Sonia gave me a lovely welcome, a warm room, space to hang out all my wet things, a kitchen to make as many hot drinks as I liked and the remote for the biggest tele I’d ever seen. Time to get cosy..