Sustenance, signal boxes and serenity – In the name of Thiago – Day 180
Yes, today it’s my take on sun, sea and sangria on the alliterative stakes and I think it’s fair to say that it’s a resounding win for my good self. The three s’s actually came in the order I’ve presented them in today’s blog title too, so as a man who is more than just being borderline OCD, this pleases me greatly.
Look at that, I am absolutely shitting you not, I really did manage that today. I cannot think of an occasion when I’ve walked this far. Even a conservative estimate places this as 19 miles, which makes it the very furthest I have walked in my life in one sitting. Suddenly, not only do I feel mentally strong, but my body is also responding to the paces I’m putting it through.
I once walked home from Hastings to my family home of Westham, which is on the outskirts of Eastbourne. I’ve just checked that and that was only 12 miles and I was absolutely shitfaced having fallen sleep on the last train home and missed my stop. I suspect that was more of a stagger than a walk and besides I’ve been used to 15 milers more recently.
I trundled steadily down the A34 this morning, I didn’t need to stop here for sustenance, but it was there. What was I supposed to do? Three squid for a bacon bap and a cuppa. It was absolutely right on the money too. Perhaps that was part of the inspiration to take me through the rest of the journey. That and the little man of course, who travelled every one of those 19 miles with me. He’s always with me, my little hero. I miss him so much.
My right foot really hurts today, though oddly the left one is fine. I walked right up to the front door of Ten Green Bottles in Stone and made a little video as that’s the place where the final day of my 300 mile walk this autumn will start from. I was on my tod for the walk today, I’m hopeful that I might have a few more mates with me come October.
It’s a lovely little wander from Stone up to Trentham on the canal path. There are some beautiful spots. I’d decided last night that it was to be road on the way down – and when I say road there was pavement all the way, so it was perfectly safe – and canal all the way to Trentham at least.
There are some impressive looking pads in this part of Staffordshire. This one certainly qualifies. I had to do a double take before I was happy to accept that there was a signal box in this property’s garden. It doesn’t look remotely out of place and it gladdened my heart as I turned for home.
There was a fence panel partially blocking the path on the way home but it was cut open in the middle so I thought sod it, might as well plough on. It was a full two miles before I encountered any workmen but when I did, they were only about 100 yards from where I wanted to come off.
Apparently there was a big hole in the ground up ahead and I wasn’t going any further. The nearest ‘official’ exit was a mile back from whence I came. Fuck it, I wasn’t having that and scrambled up a bank near a bridge in the most ungracious manner possible and was greeted by a passing pedestrian at the top with a ‘ooh hello’. I did well to make it up the bank as I was walking on empty by this point.
The last couple of miles were a struggle and I just about crawled up to the school to meet Elisa at 2.15, more than seven hours after I’d left this morning. If you’re feeling inspired by my achievements and reckon they are deserving of a donation to the cause, then that would put the icing on the cake on what has already been a very successful day. Take care all.