Distance walked today 13 miles
Total distance walked 376 miles
Distance left 676 miles
I woke in the early hours and it was a moment or two before I realised that the continuous noise was traffic on the nearby M42; it never stops.
I tried Vinnie's pack on to test the weight. He's carrying only 14lbs! His pack is a Golite Breeze (I used one in 2004 for my Italian trip - http://litehiker-italianjourney.blogspot.com/) but he really is travelling ultralite - no stove or food. He uses a Mont-Bell one man tent.
Vinnie and I walked together today. We joined the Heart of England Way which followed the route of the canal alongside the site, the Birmingham & Fazeley. The weather was perfect and stayed fine all day. I'm told rain is forecast for tonight.
It was very pleasant walking as the canal here is attractive and time passed quickly as we talked and walked. We were at Fazeley Junction by 11am where we turned west, continuing along the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal (east was the Coventry Canal). At 12.15 we called in at a canal-side pub at Hopwas and had pints of bitter shandy - Vinnie hadn't had shandy before and gave it his seal of approval. A short distance later we stopped to talk to a couple sitting on a bench; the wife gave me a £3.00 donation.
At 2.30, Vinnie left to go into Lichfield, probably to find a B&B and take a day off tomorrow. I expect we might meet up again in the Peak District or on the Pennine Way. I went on to locate my campsite at Fullbrook Farm, a mile north of Lichfield. On the way, I came across some waymarks for the Erasmus Darwin Walk, presumably a local route.
Now, anglers are renowned for ignoring both canal boaters and hikers but I managed to engage one in conversation. The reason was probably that today marked his return to fishing after a break of twenty years. He was laid off by LDV, the van manufacturer last December and had only just heard today that they've gone into receivership. He may be spending more time fishing in the future than he would like.
The charge for me to camp at Fullbrook Farm was £4.00 but I was given £2.00 back as a donation which was really nice.