Walking 10.40am to 5.30pm
Distance walked today 12 miles
Total distance walked 395 miles
Distance left 657 miles
It's good to be back on course. I've had a very busy day or so, staying with a lady whose husband is away for a while (in fact, I'm married to her)!
I've bought a new pair of boots as a backup, my other spares having given up the ghost a week ago - Alt-Bergs again, exactly the same as I'm wearing now, except that I've gone for a wider fitting. I've also, with a little persuasion, invested in a new backpack, an Osprey Ariel 65. Chris at Outdoor Traders at Abingdon (15% discount to Backpackers Club members) spent a lot of time customising it to fit properly and I think it will be good. The pack I've been using the last three weeks is getting on for twenty years old and, I realised is made for someone with a longer back than I have. The new one is adjusted to my back length and should stay tucked in to the small of my back. That's the idea, anyway.
I was dropped off at Banbury station this morning and made my way back to Rugeley Trent Valley Station. By arrangement, Gayle was waiting on the platform, having left her car at Uttoxeter station and caught the train down. The idea was that we would walk by my route to Uttoxeter.
We walked a short distance along the Trent & Mersey Canal before leaving it to head north east to the village of Colton, following the Staffordshire Way (as we did for most of the day), across the head of Blithfield Reservoir and into Abbots Bromley, where we popped into The Goat's Head for their Black Sheep bitter. They have a beer festival tomorrow with sixteen real ales and an appearance by the Abbots Bromley Horn Dancers. Our route then took us through Bagot's Park (which seemed just like more farmland, not a park at all). It was then a straightforward walk for three miles or so along field paths into Uttoxeter, then by car to Gayle's home. We've had a meal and plan to walk on towards the Peak District tomorrow.