Saturday 24th November 2018
Three weeks after leaving the trail near Elmore, I returned to my journey along the Severn Way, having started the day in Gloucester and followed the canal towpath to the point at which I previously left off.
My previous walk of making progress in my walk along the Severn Way was all the way back in April, would you believe! I’d never intended to leave it this long in between. A ‘busy’ summer played its part in that.
So far, I’ve followed the trail north from Bristol and, at the time of writing, I’m about to enter Gloucester in my next walk. Beyond that, I’m only looking to trek as far as Tewkesbury, while the Severn Way continues for another 150 miles or more.
Waking up in the youth hostel of Streatley-on-Thames, I was downstairs in the restaurant at 8am (a time arranged the evening before) and ready for the full-English breakfast that would fuel me on for another fifteen miles of following The Ridgeway National Trail.
If not for the help and suggestions of my friends Matt and Joe, I believe I would’ve struggled to complete this second stage of my Ridgeway walk; trekking for two days across one weekend.
We all left Bristol in the one car and my friends had kindly offered to drop me off at one point on Saturday morning and then to collect me on Sunday afternoon and return me to Bristol. Meanwhile, they were off on their own getaway walking a good stretch of the Thames Path.
This was the first in what was intended to be a five-day backpacking expedition along The Ridgeway National Trail.
From the start of the trail at Overton Hill, I follow The Ridgeway for twenty-three miles as far as White Horse Hill, from which I would descend to reach my campsite for the night.
By the time of writing this post, I had expected I would be coming to the end of my fourth day backpacking along The Ridgeway National Trail…
I set off on Saturday morning. Slightly later than intended but I was on to the trail soon enough. Within the first three miles, I noticed a pain down the outside of my left leg and, even with stretching, it remained with me for the whole twenty-five miles of day one. I made it to the camp site that evening but was safely and generously ‘extracted’ on Sunday morning.
At 18kg (according to my possibly-unreliable luggage scales), my rucksack was far too heavy and it made little sense for me to press on through the pain. I’ve spent this afternoon weighing everything and taking notes, all of which I’ll share below.
Following a two-month absence from the trail, I returned to my walk along the Severn Way long-distance footpath, which I’ll be following as far north as Tewkesbury.
This walk would begin at Frampton-on-Severn in Gloucestershire, which isn’t precisely where the previous walk ended but, reasonable car parks are hard to find, as someone who doesn’t know the area overly well. I can fill in the brief void of towpath another time.