Tuesday, June 22, 2010

61.3 kms: Newark Park-Wotton-under-Edge-North Nibley-Berkeley.

Wes and I woke up with squished slugs in our hair. Can I just say—eough!!! And again—eoughghgh! Yuk! Why am I doing this? Anyway. The sun was not where we were—hence the presence of dewy slugs. So I moved everything into the sun to dry—which it did do very quickly. But then people started coming past in droves. Morning. Morning. Yeah, um, just trying to dry some stuff, you know. Oh you camped here last night? Um, yeah, I guess so.
I finally got into Wotton for coffee and the world’s largest and fluffiest omelette. I planned my way and made the final decision to leave the Cotswold Way at North Nibley and head towards the Severn, then walk back to and over the Severn Bridge and to the start of Offa’s Dyke. My other option would mean going all the way to Gloucester in order to be able to get across the river—I really didn’t fancy walking into Gloucester. I got off the path and onto the road. North Nibley was after one of the craziest ups and downs I had done in my three days of walking (sarcastic essence to that sentence). But, on a serious note, the poles are really good for the descents. They also make you go faster on the ascents, but I am yet to decide if that is an asset. The bit between the up and the down was spectacularly lovely—forest, dappled with sunlight (relief for the sunburn), and speckled with iron-age forts. There was also Tyndale’s Tower. A beautiful tower on the top of the escarpment. Two very red English people sunbaking nearby advised me that it had been built in his honour two hundred years after the church realised that burning him for translating the Bible into English so all the common people could read it was possibly an over-reaction.
I had lemonade and coffee in the pub at North Nibley. One of the waitresses had enormous assets and a strapless long dress that she kept threatening to stand on and reveal all—men in the pub all held their breaths every time she came up the stairs from the kitchen. She was sweet though and thoroughly convinced that an addiction to Neighbours was better than an addiction to drugs. Who was I to set her straight—as long as she is not harming others is all I can say. Putting it on the plasma as soon as the proprietoress disappeared may fall into the harming others category though.
The castle at Berkley was open for the day. My concession to a visitation was to collapse on the grass inside the gate. I’m on the road. That doesn’t allow for coming off it—that’s how it works.
A car stopped nearby, accusing me silently of lounging within castle grounds so I moved on. A couple in the cafe on Wotton advised that there was a nice place to stay in Berkley. I couldn’t recall what the name was. I had a feeling it was the ‘Something’ Arms, so I stopped at the Berkeley Arms, enquired about the price, grumbled and asked about other places cheaper, then decided I couldn’t be bothered and agreed. I had this odd little room that had an en suite bathroom, just for my use, across the hall.
Aside: As I sit here in Montpellier Gardens writing this up from copious notes, I look up and see butt crack. Gentleman, do you find this attractive when you see it? Please realise that low riding jeans also ride low when you are sitting and, I don’t know, I think I like the round, curvy bottom of bottoms rather than the tops of bottoms. Showing that pelvic bone s-curve on the front is one hundred percent okay, but when it comes to the rear, please fill the cracks.
Sorry about that. En suite. Doesn’t that mean in the suite? It was nice though. Did washing and sequin sewing and diary writing. Spent quite a bit of time looking at two seemingly identical paintings of the castle that hung on the walls of the room. Surely it must be some weird game of spot-the-difference: why else would someone hang two identical pictures. Do you have two identical photos of loved ones on the mantelpiece? Odd. Couldn’t find any differences. Had dinner. Salmon, overcooked with some weird orange and ginger sauce. Veggies and bubble-and-squeak were really yummy though. After dinner I had a walk around town, looking over walls at the castle, wondering though the church yard, staring into people’s front rooms (I love how the Brits don’t worry about curtains). Then I found the Mariner’s Arms. Oh my goodness! Was I encased in the arms of the wrong establishment. I’ll never know.
Good night Berkley, good night you.

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