Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Day 18 : Tewkesbury to Worcester

Thursday 1st February 2007

Distance Walked: 19.7 miles
Start Time: 8:44
End Time: 17:15
Elapsed Time: 8:39
Weather: Oppressively warm.
Distance walked so far: 368.1 miles

If ever there was joyless trudge of a day, this was it. Maybe it’s the lack of a breeze, or lack of view, or the constant scene of riverside devastation, or the leg-sapping mud, but the combined effect is brain-numbing. Even the pleasure at the eventual arrival in Worcester was short lived as I found myself in the smallest, dingiest Guest House imaginable.

After a morning of unspectacular walking, arriving at the array of riverside pubs in Upton-upon-Severn before they actually open was perhaps not the most comforting of events, but further upstream I’m able to enjoy a rare lunchtime sojourn at the Rose & Crown in Severn Stoke. Having suddenly developed a small blister at the bottom of my heel, and not knowing how best to treat it, I simply stab it with scissors and set sail again into the effluent of the riverbank and the endless flotilla of static caravans on the fringe of Worcester, with their territorial warning signs and zealously guarded boundaries. These are the highly-prized white metal coffins of the retiring classes. Away from it all, in the middle of it all.

I can only imagine that, in its pre-flooded state and in a different season, this path would be a delight. I’m certainly not averse to walking by rivers, and it’s definitely offering a flat and relatively rapid route towards my destination. Ultimately, though, I’m bored of the Severn Way. I long for hills and mountains and scenery and drama. The river has provided an easy passage northwards, and will continue to do so for at least another day, but it’s not offering me anything stimulating. The caravans are here because it’s a watered down waterfront way of life. It’s neutered nature. The Severn Way is safe and dull. Maybe this is all that middle England actually is?

Song of the day:

The Grateful Dead

Ripple in still water /
When there is no pebble tossed /
Or wind to blow


gingajoy said...

sounds like it was a miserable day, Dave. but where are you now??? The world wants to know.

may this comment find you blisterfree and in somewhere that's not a shithole.

pseudo said...

wrap up warm Dave...its pretty snowy out