Walking from John O'Groats to Land's End in the winter of 07/08.

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Upper Affcot to Leintwardine

After a series of tough days and with an increasingly broken body, it was comforting to know I was only a short distance away from a cosy cottage in a peaceful village where I could sit by the fire and put my feet up. Ambling along, and when I wasn't getting wet, I had a bit more time to take in my surroundings and appreciate some of those little details I tend to miss when I'm pushing hard to reach some far off destination.

I followed a small river through soft pastures and between trees to reach Craven Arms where I could stock up on vital supplies (such as deep heat, which I'm rubbing into my legs in excessive quantities at the moment). After passing under the railway line, I crossed a field to a copse where I clumsily negotiated a newly fallen tree, before steep grassy fields climbed up to a wood covered cone that formed the top of the hill. Rain was driven in on a forceful wind to add drama as I skirted the forest of swaying branches and reached the top of View Edge.

Crossing a patchwork of fields my boots occasionally gained a thick layer of mud as some were either waterlogged or freshly ploughed. Under roaming angry clouds, the scenery was varied and kept my interest. A woman doing a crime survey became the only person I would meet in the hills today, while an overgrown hedge on a rarely used path became the only real physical challenge.

Soon I could look down on the village of Leintwardine, a cluster of houses in the valley below. My path joined lanes that lead to the little cottage, where I gathered wood for the coming rest days.

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