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Day 8 - North Nibley to Chipping Sodbury

14 miles/ 22.5 km Distance is estimated.

semi-overcast 17 °C
View Cotswold Way, England on Laura Walking's travel map.

I really enjoyed my night at that pub. I had arrived quite early, after getting a ride with Sophie, a woman who had walked by while I was standing at the “bus station”! It was so nice of her to offer, and my tired, creaky legs and back sure appreciated it, although I could barely make it out of her car!

It’s also getting dark earlier these days too, being October… I really wouldn’t want to be clamouring around in some woods somewhere in the dark. I’m not concerned about animals… only about getting lost or mistakenly stepping off a cliff. Yikes! This weekend we will put our clocks back - here. Which will make it even darker, earlier, right? Seems to me I recall this happening once before on a trip here. The clocks went back an hour in England, and a week later they went back in Edmonton. I sure hope the airlines have figured all of that out for next weekend!

Well, last night the pub, as I mentioned, was “rocking”! There was a lot of noise from below… which is fine, and expected. However, particularly surprising was the incessant laughing of one woman. I eventually put my headphones in my ears to try and block the irritating sound! I mean, laughing is fine… but this was off the charts! I can’t even describe it.
Well… I stand corrected! After mentioning it this morning, with a chuckle, I learned that this was in fact a man laughing. Apparently he is a bit of a character around town and is well known for being rather over-the-top in his behaviour. Maddie said that he means well and that he has a heart of gold - which I don’t doubt - but he sometimes just gets carried away. It seems he’s quite eccentric. What else is there to say?! To each his own!

Much later, during the night when things were quiet and peaceful… I could hear the sound of rain on the pavement. It was pouring once again. I had managed to see a weather forecast on the news last night and had decided that I was just not keen on walking in the rain again, particularly for that distance. I was doubtful I could do it.
When I got up, it was still raining, but not as hard. There was no breakfast included here, so I packed up my things as per usual and was ready to take my big pack downstairs shortly after 9 am. This was actually the last day that my luggage, my big backpack, would be transported by the luggage company, as they are stopping for the season. When there are fewer walkers, and therefore fewer bags, it’s just not profitable at a certain point. I wondered if that fellow, Mark, would mind if I hitched a ride with him again. I waited with my pack. Because North Nibley is a considerable distance along the Cotswold Way, I knew that Mark, the fellow doing the transporting would be starting way back in Chipping Campden this morning. I expected it would take a while for him to get there, also taking into account any stops he needed to make along the way. It was about 11:30 am when he arrived. There was no problem getting a ride with him. He delivered me and my big pack to the next Inn by noon.

During the drive it rained a little, then stopped and rained a little more. It was a sort of miserable day. It did eventually stop altogether. At the Inn here in Chipping Sodbury (the town next to Old Sodbury), I was arriving very early so my room wasn’t ready. Which was fine. I hadn’t had any breakfast, so I sat in their lovely dining room and had brunch. I was by a window and as my meal progressed, gradually the sun came out. The fast moving dark clouds still contained lots of rain, and a few times I saw it was sprinkling again. After brunch my room was ready and I lugged my things up. Throughout the afternoon, the skies continued to clear and I was getting antsy to get out and walk somewhere. I got detailed directions to Chipping Sodbury proper, and walked there in about 15 minutes. Unfortunately it was approaching 4 pm which was closing time for many of the shops. This is a very pretty little town with many old style stone buildings. Very picturesque. Apparently several films have shot scenes in this town because of the number of buildings on the Main Street that look just like they did back in earlier days. I took a few pictures with my phone (the GoPro memory card is full. I will look for one tomorrow in Bath). It had turned out to be quite a warm and sunny day in spite of starting out rainy and miserable.

I must say, that I am feeling a little disappointed that I haven’t done as much walking on this “walking trip” as I had sort of planned to do before coming here. I was pretty enthusiastic and motivated during the planning stages. I’m disappointed in myself about that. It would be easy to say, well just put on your rain gear and go out and do it… but that is part of the point. I am finding that 14 miles in a day, or 22 km (as today would have been), is just too much for me. The weather is certainly a factor - a non-motivating factor! - but that’s not all of it. It would be fine to go and do part of each days walk, but then when you’re tired and done for the day… you might be standing in a farmer’s field with some sheep around you, or on a hill in the middle of nowhere. I am trying to do as much of it as I can… but the accommodations and the distances between them have just not worked out as well this time. Nor has the weather, frankly. Unfortunately I was just not familiar enough with the route and/or with the towns where I needed to book accommodations. Oh well, live and learn.

Which brings me to tomorrow. I have no accommodations booked between here and Bath. It’s 18.5 miles (29.5 km) to Bath from here. I know I cannot walk that in one go - AND I have my big pack to contend with as well. I have one place booked a little bit outside Bath thinking it would be closer to the Cotswold Way path… but instead of being north of Bath, it has turned out to be east of Bath, kind of far away from everything! So we’ll see what it’s like. It may be close enough to walk into town, I don’t know. I’ll find that out tomorrow. I’m going to take a bus in to Bath. It leaves here, very close to this Inn, just after noon.

Often when there is a long stage in a walk where there are no accommodations available, and it’s been arranged with one of the walking companies, they do what is called a transfer. You get to your accommodations the first night. The next day, they drive you to the half way mark of that long stage, and you walk back to your same accommodations for the second night. The next day they again drive you to that halfway point, and you walk forward to your next stop. I have that first night tomorrow at the place outside of Bath, and then the following two nights I am also in Bath at another place. It has occurred to me to do my own sort of “transfer” type scenario with a taxi. Take it back to a certain point on the path and walk the last stage or two coming into Bath. I would really like to do that, and I will look into the logistics of how it might work. But again, I am a little daunted by the weather. We’ll see what transpires.

I have a very nice room here, the staff are very friendly and accommodating. I’m looking forward to a delicious breakfast in the morning.

Posted by Laura Walking 20:26 Archived in England

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