DAY 47: Richards Castle to Bromyard – 16 miles
After a day full of food yesterday and a good nights sleep I declined the cooked breakfast, opting for the continental instead. Pam also made me a couple of rounds of sandwiches to take away, as well as fruit and a slice of coffee cake. So today I was fully prepared as I reluctantly left the warmth of their family kitchen and headed out into this grey English bank holiday Sunday. So my opening to Herefordshire was nothing special as I followed single file country lanes most of the way, a few ups and downs but nothing significant. Again there was nowhere official to stop in any of the “villages” I passed through, no wifi or phone connection and not much to photograph. The weather did improve however so I managed lots of short curb-side breaks to munch on my supplies.
But it felt like a particularly long day and I really struggled with those last couple of miles. So much so that for the first time this whole trip I wasn’t sure I’d be able to make the distance. I remember having a very painful burning Achilles whilst up in Scotland when my mum and sister were with me, which literally came on during my last few steps and was miraculously gone by the following morning. Back to today however, there wasn’t one particular place that hurt… simply my whole body ached and putting one foot in front of the other was becoming almost impossible. If I had found a bench to sit on or pub/cafe to stop at during those last few miles I would have stopped – but there wasn’t so somehow I managed to dig deep and keep going.
Arriving at the The Hop Pole Hotel in the centre of Bromyard around 5:30pm, I had booked this hotel late last night and it was by far the cheapest I had ever come across on bookings.com at just £29. And you could see why… But that didn’t matter to me as I simply wanted to dump my stuff and collapse. I laid there for about an hour just watching the now heavy rain come down outside before I was eventually able to drag myself out to go get some food. For a small town there were quite a few pubs, but none of them seemed to be serving food – they were all too busy with bank holiday drinkers and bright pink hen parties! Not really feeling that vibe tonight, I grabbed some basic bits from the convenience store, a couple of trashy mags and simply retreated to my smelly little room.