DAY 25: Coalhaven to Abington – 13.80 miles
Natalia set me up for the day with another big breakfast, so it was hard to look and pack up the doner pizza to take with me… but needs must I suppose! In fact today for the first time I actually had to carry all my food (cheese, apples and coleslaw, as well as 5 large slabs of pizza) in a separate bag. Setting off the sun was shining and for a second day my pack didn’t feel too uncomfortable, as the country lanes rolled on by. And then I reached and turned left onto the B-road, which would ultimately take me to the English border. Most of this route combines with route 74 for cyclists, which meant there was often a completely separate walking/cycling lane to enjoy, or a the very least, a decent edge to the road to allow for us. Either way, this route was often deserted so I had the road to myself.
Stopping for a rest at a closed truck stop I made a dent in the food I was carrying and declined the offer from one of the parked up truckers to go have a hot drink in his cab. I then continued onto Abington, praying that the gathering rain clouds were not going to stick around long as tonight I was planning on getting the budget back on track by camping. Abington had two hotels – one was more expensive and according to their website full, and the other motel style place did have a single room but the lowest they would go down to on the phone was £50 (my daily budget is £30, which includes food). So as I arrived in Abington with the temperature dropping and rain imminent I sat in the post office / coffee shop trying to make my cappachino last as long as possible, putting off the moment I had to head round to the campsite.
Opposite me all this time, was the Abington Hotel looking warm, and beconcing… but of course full and totally out of my price range. I suppose it didn’t hurt to check though… so when I could put off leaving the cafe no longer, I headed over. A gentleman answered the door and took me through to the reception – no he didn’t have any singles, only a twin, which I could see on the wall behind reception was a whopping £90. I started to explain that I was walking JOGLE for charity and he immediately took me into the back office to show me a poster of his son who had done exactly the same thing for charity but from bottom to top. That was it… yes he could definitely sort me out with a room. And that is how on this Saturday night, instead of getting cold and wet out there in my bivi, I ended up in a warm and cosy room, hot bath, Men In Black on the tele (cold pizza obviously), full breakfast the following morning… All for the knock down price of £20. Thank you Tarun, your act of kindness was very very much appreciated.