Saturday 31 December 2011

LEJOG 2004 - My Notes on a trip of a lifetime - part 2

If you've got this far you will have spotted a few typo's. Say La V!


03 April 2004 To Croyde Bay: Left in dry - took roads to shorten route and with going along old railway - boring! Got showery in afternoon and then pissed down as I got to Croyde Bay. Campsite waived fee. Pitched in pissing rain. Got to this pub (Billy Budds) with boots on - no point in changing. Good thing put wet clothes - from a few days - in dryer - dry clothes!
Poured down as I went back, but I slept well and the morning was sunny.

04 April 2004 To Coombe Martin: An easier day on to Coombe Martin. Got to Holiday Camp - said sorry - full. Then I said only small tent - charity etc., Reply £10! What? talk again - Agreed no charge.
Found the Focsal pub - seems ok. Food on way. It was good.
Showery afternoon, but nothing much. Put tent up in a shower, but ok. Site is crap. Had a shower too - life ain't too bad.

05 April 2004 To Lynbridge: Left campsite at 0800. Good thing is that tent was dry. Stayed dry all way to Lynton. Got here at 1430. Found campsite at Lynbridge - Sunny Lees. Charged me £4 to camp. But, able to wash clothes and have shower. Nice site and nice people.
Very windy coming over the sea cliffs. No point in pushing on to Porlock - good to have a bit of a break.

06 April 2004 To Minehead: Lynbridge to Porlock - had a nice pint and then on to Minehead. 1st campsite was closed. Met a walker who lived locally and he directed me to a Caravan Site - NO tents! Warden said there was a campsite .75 mile up the road. More like 2 miles!
Got there at 1830. Pitched tent and walked in to Minehead. Only to find that I had walked round one massive square! It still took 25 mins to walk in but i ended up near where I entered Minehead!
Day was very windy and bitter cold. Didn't pay and camp fee! Will they write to me? - I left my address???

07 April 2004 To Kingston St Mary: Left campsite at 0700. Walked in to town and along coast path to Blue Anchor. Not much of a path and there was one nasty ditch to get over - just. Walked from Blue Anchor along road to watchet. Rang Barbara Darling I love you! Then had coffee and toasted bun - nice place. Guy gave me short cut to Staple. Had a beef bagette in the Windmill pub in Staple - superb!
Over the Quantocks in just a few showers. Drpped off route to Kingston St. Mary. camped at corner of a building site - with permission! Lovely pub - The Swan. Now for a meal - beef casserole. Superb.
V cold night, but, slept reasonably well.

08 April 2004 To Walton (day 15): Up and off before 0800. Joined my route after a couple of miles road walking. Route got a bit difficult to follow, but, got sorted out. Crossed M5 at 1130. My planned route involved a bridge across a drainage ditch - only thing was there wasn't one!
Lots more road walking until I picked up McCloy's route (He wrote a book on LEJOG) at Kingsedgemoor Drain. Cut in to Walton - campsite with pub - Pike and Musket - nearby.
Hardly any wind in morning. Colder in afternoon. Had a shower at campsite - they charged me £5. Feet are very tired with all the road walking. Rang Barbara - miss you Darling. Later, rang Phil at around 1930. Terry and Chris on way (brother in law and sister in law). Also rang Christine on mobile.
Had fillet steak. Good. Looks like rain will hold off. Feet gradually got better. 4 pints and bed at 2100. Slept well. Slept with clothes on!

09 April 2004 To Old Down (day 16): Woke up to a white tent, but had a good sunny day. Could see Glastonbury Tor from tent.
Made my way around 0820 to Glastonbury - full of old hippies - and on to superb campsite at Old Down - near Chilcompton. Les runs the place and has end-to-enders thru. Takes their photos and gets them to send back card from JOG. What a great idea. Les waived the £5 camp fee - bless. Washed all clothes and had shower (clothes only cost £1 - powder free).
Pub - the Old Down - just opposite - and beer is straight from the barrel - Smiles and Bass. Forgot to note - yesterday and day before - saw wild deer and a stoat (or, weasel?)
And, the day's weather was fantastic. Sunny, but not too hot and very little wind - life is good and unlike last night, my feet feel ok. And Barbara tells me Basil is going to fix our door - I must get away more often!
Beer from the barrel - well 2 Smiles + ok - 3 Bass - but, it is great!
A good nights sleep.

10 April 2004 To Cold Ashton (day 17): Les took my photo and me of him. He gave me a card to post from JOG. V good guy.
No real breakfast, just tuna thing - pretty crap. Started off at 0900. Showery day. Drier in evening. Really pushed it. Route finding was not easy and Limestone Link is in need of an overhaul! Not much for lunch either. Not good idea.
Got to Batheaston at around 1730. made push for Cold Ashton and got to Cheastnuts (in Backpackers Club as camp place, but really just a house with big garden) - for camping at 2000. Exhausted!

Pitched tent in dusk and made way to pub - about 5 mins walk. 4 pints and a meal -needed!
A good nights sleep. No charge for camping.

11 April 2004 To Wooten-under-Edge (day 18 - Sunday)): Dry day - warm to start. The Cotswold Way is so well marked. Left Cold Ashton at 0830. had pub lunch in Old Sodbury - steak sandwich.
Continued to Wooten-under-Edge. No real chance of camping so stayed in the Royal Oak! Superb food and good beer. Had a bath! Basic cost £25 B and B. My left little to was very sore today - bath helped. Luxury!

12 April 2004 To Whiteshill near Stroud (day 19): Left pub at 0900 after fantastic breakfast. Last night's meal was v good. Feet felt so much better.
Little toe was ok today - strange things: feet! Got very sunny and warm in morning but turned cloudier in afternoon. The views over Cotswold ridges are fantastic: over the Severn; Tintern etc., Waved to Terry and Christine on M5 which I could see in the distance (they were driving north that day).
Walked on past Stroud to little NT campsite. No facilities but ok place. Walked down past mast and eventually came down thru someone's private garden. I apologised to owners who explained proper path back!
Woodcutters Arms - lovely couple - did me a superb chicken kiev and I'm currently drinking IPA - good. Lovely woman, knowing what I'm doing gave me £3.25 towards Hospice - or me. (it's worth explaining that I noted down if anyone gave me cash: then I spent it! - but, I paid a cheque to St Giles at the end!)
Decided best to walk back up road to campsite. Pub is in Whiteshill north of Stroud.
Rain late in afternoon - then heavier but brief shower while I was in the pub. Hopefully it will stay dry on way back. It was dry and I had a good nights sleep.

13 April 2004 To Waterside Inn - near Dowdswell (day 20): Left camp soon after 0800. Day remained dry and mostly sunny, but, not too hot - ideal for walking. had a Guiness at Crickly Hill. Before, met some golfers - one of whom called me back and gave me £5. Then had coffee and egg sandwich at Rose's near Brockworth. sandwich was goose and hen eggs. Bless. Her mother did teas etc., and so she did. She was 78 and had been there all her life. She gave me £2.
Continued to Waterside Inn - near Dowdswell. Decided on a room (only) at £20. Good place - good food. had nachos, then steak in ale pie. really look forward to seeing Barbara tomorrow.

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