Friday, February 9, 2007

Day 20 : Bewdley to Wolverhampton

Saturday 3rd February 2007

Distance Walked: 26.6 miles
Start Time: 8:06
End Time: 15:48
Elapsed Time: 8:39
Weather: Frosty and foggy morning. Then cold and sunny,
Distance walked so far: 415.3miles

There’s an atmospheric fog drifting over the frosty riverbank as I follow the Severn Way for the final day, out of Bewdley and through the fringes of the Wyre Forest. Today I have a lot of ground to cover, for I’m heading towards the suburbs of Wolverhampton to meet up with friends and, hopefully, to enjoy a relaxing and sociable evening assuring them that I’m not actually in the middle of a life crisis as some might believe.

It’s quite a trek though and, rather than following the circuitous route of the Staffordshire Way (the next Long Distance Path on my walk), I attempt to piece together the most direct combination of roads and footpaths that I can find. Despite being so close to the populous sprawl of Birmingham and its satellite towns, my chosen lanes are peaceful and, as the sun burns through the morning mist, the walking in the Staffordshire farmland is surprisingly enjoyable.

It’s on the enforced stomp into the Wolverhampton suburbs that the fatigue sets in, and it’s with aching feet that I finally reach the destination. I’ve been here before, of course, but I’ve never walked here. From Cornwall. And as the evening unfolds I find it hard to move from one regime to another. My days are so full at the moment that it’s difficult to leave the routine that I’ve created for myself, even for an evening. Outside of the walking itself, which can take up to ten hours on a bad day, I’m usually just about finding time for route planning, accommodation & food hunting, writing and sleeping. The temptation to slip out of this habit and sink into the comfort of friendship is insistent, but I settle for a late-night feast in the curry capital of the country and resolve to leave in the morning whilst my will is still intact.

Song of the day:

“How to fight loneliness”

How to fight loneliness /
Smile all the time /
Shine your teeth till meaningless /
And sharpen them with lies


Daryl May said...

Beautifully written! Fatigue from your enormous mileages is focusing your mind . . .

John Hee said...

Eeer snow then?

DaveG said...

No snow on Saturday 3rd, no. There was snow yesterday in Edale and today in Padfield, but I haven't written about that yet. Watch this space.

John Hee said...

Will do.
Keep on a trucking