DAY 46: All Stretton to Richards Castle – 22 miles
Today was going to be a long day, so I was determined to get up and out as early as possible. This was helped along by the fact that I had to fend for myself with regards to breakfast… so by 9am I was heading for Church Stretton and on the hunt for a cafe. Ending up in a proper greasy spoon, I was determined not to have yet another cooked breakfast… so instead I ordered sausage, chips, beans and eggs?! Ok I managed to swap the fried egg for a poached one but still… Clearing my plate I somehow managed to get myself moving in order to start clearing some of the miles I would have to cover today. Unfortunately the bad weather had returned and it drizzled on and off for most of the morning.
Good job I did stock up on calories this morning as it turned out that – despite the amount of little villages I walked through today – not one had any kind of shop, pub or cafe. My wifi was not working properly either so I didn’t have any new music to listen to and there was nothing particularly different to look at. It was just me, the blackberries I could pick on route and the faithful old cheese and apple picnic I managed to have during a break in the rain. So different from yesterday I really struggled to keep going, so when I arrived in Ludlow – still five miles from my final destination – I had to take a significant break. Which I did in Costa coffee, and cheered myself up with a large coffee and double choc chip muffin. And then the heavens really opened so suddenly I was stuck inside there even longer.
But eventually the sugar rush kicked in and the rain eased so I managed to cover those final miles. Tonight I would be couch surfing in Richards Castle with my hosts the Goodwin family. Funnily enough the daughter who had set this up, wasn’t even going to be there but her parents and brother were… And they gave me a lovely reception putting me immediately at ease, followed by dinner together of warm chicken fajitas. The parents went out for the evening, and later on the other daughter dropped by, who I already knew had been in Nepal during the earthquake. Of course we therefore shared some of our experiences before I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer and went upstairs to my large comfortable bed in my large old fashioned oak panelled bedroom. Which no Pam, wasn’t scary at all.