Distance: 31,4 km (19,5 mi) for a total of 808 km (502,1 mi)
Ascent (ca.): 255 m (835 ft)
Weather: Rain on and off the day, more on than off though often only light
As it had rained much of the night and still did so in the morning, I had to pack everything inside the tent and then the tent itself dripping wet. Not nice, but nothing I could do about it.
As I wasn’t eager to test the quality of the HoE Way here but wanted to get to Balsall Common as soon as possible for a second breakfast I relied on minor roads to get there. Shortly after I’d set off I found out that for some unknown reason the GPSr hadn’t loaded the tracks and waypoints. I was quite sure I couldn’t have deleted them, even accidentally, but then I started to doubt and spent much of the time to Balsall Common to think about “emergency plans”. If the tracks were really lost that wouldn’t have been that much of a problem as I have paper backups throughout. But the waypoints would be something different. In Balsall Common I entered a cafe and did some drying and “repairs” and got everything back to operation.
This faffing around with the GPSr had taken quite some time and the weather hadn’t improved so I opted for road walking up to Meriden instead of taking a long easterly detour of uncertain quality. Like this I was also able to have lunch in Meriden, most welcome as I knew that no suitable place would be near enough in the evening.
From Meriden I headed to Shustoke and the reservoir there, passing Maxstoke on the way with this old priory.
The western route around the reservoir unfortunately hid the reservoir very effectively, so I only know from signs I’ve come across before that you can take lessons in sailing there. Perhaps some other time …
By that time my shoes and socks had nearly dried completely and I wouldn’t have complained if this enjoyable state had lasted. Alas, it was not going to be as another field of rapeseed lie in the way. Farmers should be prohibited to plant this stuff with only leaving an infinitesimal narrow footpath for crossing through. At least I got up the tent in one of the rare dry periods, but immediately afterwards the rain set in again.