Day 17

Today has been pretty good. I was up very early and walking by just after 6am. It’s been a lovely day weatherwise and the forecast for the coming days is even better. My destination for the day was near Market Drayton and I arrived there in shorts and tea shirt.
My host tonight via Couchsurfing is Chris – lovely guy may age who likes motorbikes just like me. And I have been treated royally – a bath with bubbles, endless cups of tea, use of a washing machine and lovely food.
The walking is generally hard physically but meeting people like Chris has been one of the joys of the trip. 

Day 16

Tonight I’m camping by the canal. Today went well after my initial paranoia over my new shoes wore off – they seem to work well. I’ll write a more detailed post tomorrow. Off to bed early – feeling a bit cream crackered.

Day 15

Today has been about rest, relaxation and preparation. I’ve been staying at my old university and very conforable it is too. A good time to catch up on emails and just rest and eat. I did have to go into the town centre as my faithful running shoes were, like me, looking a bit tired and ragged. I am now the proud owner of a pair of North Face shoes which can best described as the dogs dangly bits – and at 105 quid I should think so too.
Tomorrow I’m off again. Weather forecast is pretty good which is handy as I’m camping out tomorrow night. So begins, what in my own mind, I think of as the home strait.

Day 14

Today was an unusual start – I helped to walk my hosts 3 daughters to school – and what sweeties they are. Then I called into an outdoorsy shop for new shoes but their range was rubbish and getting the right footwear is incredibly important.
The last two hours today were a real slog but you just get on with it. Listening to the radio helps.
So tonight I’m comfortably ensconced in the visitor accomodation of the University of Birmingham – where I did my degree back in the dark ages. I have WiFi, a TV, tea making facilities and hot and cold running. Day off tomorrow – give my blisters some respite – I have a new on on my right heel. I shall describe myself as a collector of blisters.

Day 13

Up early today and on the towpath for 0630 and it was lovely. Broad daylight and hardly anyone around. And today was scorchio – hottest day I’ve had so far. I had to get to Leamington Spa for 4pm to say hello to the ladies in the Alzheimer’s Society ofice there. They gave me tea and let me sit down – bliss. Tonight sees me couchsurfing at Joe and Sarah’s house with their lovely children. We have had a show and tell and the kids have all had a go in my hammock. Tomorrow I’m going to call into an outdoor equipment shop as my trainers are a bit like me – tired and worn out. But morale is high and I’ve passed the thousand pound mark on my JustGiving page. One more day to Brum and then a rest day.

Day 12

Today was uneventful. 20 miles along the canal towpath – just another day at the office. But I did find it tiring and I don’t know why – is it because I’m not getting enough calories or perhaps because I’m ready for another rest day? So tomorrow I have lots of calorie filled snacks and another couple of days and I have a rest day in Birmingham.
Tonight I shall lie my weary head down to sleep in Weedon Bec thanks to Tony from couchsurfing. Tomorrow the bright lights of Leamington Spa.

Day 11

The day began with a lovely cooked breakfast – thanks Joyce. As I left Berkhampstead I had a couple of donations in my tin which was a lovely start to the day.
It was a bit colder today but OK all the same and I was not attacked by rabid animals or fell in the canal. Destination for the day – Milton Keynes where I was picked up by a very nice man called Mike. He and Mrs Mike and Ms Mike are my gracious hosts for tonight – I have been well fed. So another day done and 20 miles(ish) closer towards my destination. Leggies not too tired and morale 100%.