Distance: 33,3 km (20,7 mi) for a total of 748 km (464,8 mi)
Ascent (ca.): 220 m (725 ft)
Weather: Rain in varying intensities during the day and stopping in the evening
Geoff brought me back to Chipping Campden, of course exactly where he picked me up yesterday. And he accompanied me on the first metres on the Heart of England Way just out of town.
The forecast had promised heavy rain for the whole day which means it could have been worse than it turned out to be, after all the rain lessened now and then. So it was hood on, head down and just keep moving. And like this it wasn’t a day for taking pictures, the mobile stayed secure deep under the waterproofs. But in a more sheltered spot I found these monster tree fungi.
Long did I stayed true to the HoE Way. The signage was in general quite good, the same was true for the path itself. After crossing a muddy field I had accumulated so much mud on my shoes that it felt like walking on high heels (at least, without first-hand experience to compare with, I assume that it must feel like that). And finally I got the proof to have reached Shakespeare country.
After a bit less than half of the mileage to my intended night stop I decided that I’d done enough for and of the countryside this day. Because of the rain there weren’t any views and in the comparatively flat country I guess they wouldn’t have been much more impressing without the rain. At a suitable place I left the HoE Way for road walking into Bidford-on-Avon. By now being dripping wet I entered a pub for a lunch break and hoping I could dry a bit. This hope was only partly fulfilled, but at least I felt better with having eaten.
As I was wet anyway and there’s no sense in doing a comparison to “wet” like “wetter, the wettest”, it didn’t really matter if I was going further to Alcester as planned. I chose the most direct route possible which meant a combination of road and field walking. In Alcester I passed some nice looking lanes and would certainly have liked to walk around the town a bit more. But feeling quite uncomfortable by know with the waterproofs giving in I opted for the shortest way to the campsite and a hot shower.
One thing I noticed: there are again thatched houses as in Somerset but now on half-timbered houses which looks really beautiful.