02 July 2009

Day 25 - Sloth, Stares and a Short Stroll

Cheltenham to Tewkesbury - 14/06/09

To make up for my unscheduled early departure yesterday, this morning I seized the (somewhat rare) opportunity to lay in until lunchtime. It's the first proper lie-in I've had for quite some time and certainly the first I've had on a walking day. I've been able to get away with the wanton bout of laziness however as my walk today from Cheltenham to the picturesque town of Tewkesbury was little more than an afternoons stroll. Nevertheless despite the low mileage I decided to play it safe and stick to the lanes for the day as the thoughts of yesterday's foliage filled footpaths were still fresh in my mind.

It's rather tricky to think of something to write about an afternoon trundling along the lanes, but one thing that I have noticed today is the stares of the drivers. If the motorists in this part of the world are anything to go by then walkers must be a rare species indeed. I realise that dressed as I am in my full hiking regalia I do sort of stand out from the crowd, but it doesn't make it any less unnerving when the occupants of every passing vehicle are treating you like some sort of mobile exhibit. I suppose it's another reason (if one was needed) for avoiding the roads where possible and it was with this thought in mind that I decided to take a shortcut across some fields on the outskirts of Tewkesbury. This decision then proceeded to bite me right in the ass when I hoofed across said field to find that there was no way out save the way that I came in. It was clear that once upon a time there had indeed been a stile but at some point it must have been damaged and the owner of this particular field had decided that the best way to repair it was with lashings of barbed wire. Helpful it was not.

I really can't wait to get up into the peak district where the sight of a backpack is more the norm than the exception. That's not to say that I'm not enjoying my time in Southern England (the Cotswold Way is just one of the highlights of the last few weeks), but I'm getting a little tired of of feeling quite so out of place all of the time.

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