Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Day 17 Tuesday - Saltford to Horton

Walking 9.10am to 6.30pm
Distance walked 17 miles
Distance left 818 miles

John walked with me for the first seven miles. We called in to see a friend of mine, Murray, at Kelston. A quick chat and a cup of coffee and we were on our way again.

We picked up the Cotswold Way shortly after, having diverted briefly to go via Kelston Round Hill. At Prospect Stile, we found someone waiting on the other side. He asked if we were going far. I replied that I was on my way to John o'Groats. He responded, "You must be Geoff then". I didn't deny it. He was Don Ray. He had been following this blog and so knew I would be coming this way. He did John o'Groats to Land's End in 1999 and is a TGO Challenger. Don walked with us until the monument commemorating Sir Bevill Grenvile, Civil War/Battle of Lansdowne commander. His car was parked there. Thank you Don for taking the trouble. We enjoyed your company.

John and I continued to the pub at Cold Ashton on the A420 where we had a pint of Wadworths 6X and a bite to eat. Philippa collected him from there. It was a really enjoyable morning with excellent company.

I went on alone, cutting across to Pennsylvania, then passing through Dyrham, an idyllic Cotswold village. The view of the house at Dyrham Park from the road was impressive.

Dyrham Park

I continued, passing over the M4 through Tormarton and then Dodington Park, now owned apparently by Sir James Dyson, designer of vacuum cleaners.

I then descended into Old Sodbury, beginning to think about finding somewhere to camp. I went on, passing through a large hill fort. I am now camped on a farm at Horton where the Cotswold Way follows the same route as the Monarch's Way. The couple in the adjacent caravan were very friendly and intrigued by the Pocketmail.

The weather today has been perfect. Clear blue skies and sunshine, very warm but not too hot. It is set to continue. The scenery has been the Cotswolds at its glorious best.

I've arranged to walk some of tomorrow with Robin Davey, probably meeting at Wotton-under-Edge.

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