Wednesday 27 June 2007

Shropshire and Staffordshire: Knighton - Thorpe [21st-27th June]

[Update 5]

Sorry, too much rain to take any photo's along this bit so here's one of Daisy taking a nap in our tent at Melrose in Scotland.

Oops, my little toenail has fallen off. This walk has now officially turned into a challenge! Before now the target seemed so far away, but after this hard section of daily rain, wet socks, a wet dog and tent and lack of campsites we've been guilty of mile counting. We've also given up on our legs recovering soon as that hobble to the shower is not getting any easier.
BUT, it's not all bad news, we know that these are the parts we'll remember with a giggle!?

Various things have helped us keep our chins up on wet days gazing through pub windows at roast dinners (why did we get a dog, God I miss veg'), jelly babies, a dry phone box to eat hot bakery goods, an owl, poppy fields, canal boats and being offered a lift over a flooded road (don't worry we didn't cheat)!
Two friendly farms lifted our spirits by very kindly providing us with a field to sleep in. The first saved our bacon after a Youth Hostel didn't take dogs and the campsite no longer took tents. On the way to the farm we passed by a built up area where the grocery shops sold nothing but crisps, chocolate and alcohol, so we opted for fish a nd chips (again). We ate these on a golf course and received a random donation from a nice man called Martin :-). The farm lady had stopped doing camping for 10 years but let us stay in one of their cow dung fields. We were more than grateful, she even offered us a bath (we were mad for not taking her up on that offer) and gave us some divine fresh milk straight from the cow shed. It was like nursery milk that you used to get with those little biscuits with the cows on.
The second farm was hosting a 'folk in a field' charity event with, can you believe it, a beer tent, 'real' food and loo's! How lucky was that, plus the farmer had been sailing in Gosport that morning, it's such a small world! We're now going to be in their local community magazine too. After we enjoyed the excellent folk music we were zoinked so regrettably we declined their kind invite to the after party - Daisy isn't the best dog for socialising either. If you're in the Brewood, Staffordshire area next June, be sure to check it out.

Finally, our first campsite in three days provided us with a shower in Uttoxeter (I'm surprised they let us in) and at last, a dry tent and socks... for now! The birds were singing and the hills were coming into view - the Pennine Way was approaching - yippee - so I promised that I wouldn't moan about it being too hot to walk in ever again!

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