Wednesday, June 23, 2010

86.9 kms: Berkeley-the Power Station-Chapel House-Pillhead Gout-Severn Bridge-Chepstow.

Other people keep talking to me and I can’t understand what they are saying. I am concerned that something has happened to my ears.
Today’s was a long straight walk along river dykes, though cow fields, with the two Severn bridges slowly materialising as distinct through the sunny haziness. I missed the one and only PH’s (how a Public House is shown on my map—in case I haven’t already said, and sorry if I have) opening times by about ten minutes. This is a build up of justification—the longness, the hotness, the lack of availability of other options—for why I then stopped and purchased vitals, gave money for goods … oh gosh, I can hardly bring myself to admit it I feel so guilty! I went to BP. There I said it. Call me evil, a co-conspirator. I don’t feel good about it. I would almost have been better to buy petrol off them—cherry colas and starbar chocolates are where they make all their money isn’t it. I am not sure if it was the timing of the World Cup soccer game or people really are boycotting them, but there was scant traffic there as I sat on their corporate greed green grass and ate their food.
I was so tempted to stay in the banal Travelodge next door to the BP. My feet were aching and four kilometres of Bridge in bright sunlight as well as how long it would then take me to get to town, was not encouraging me. But it was too dear. The Bridge it would have to be.
Bridges sing. At least suspension bridges do. Stone bridges are a lot quieter. It’s a melancholy song. Like a bridge is sad that although it joins places, it can never go anywhere.
The centre of Chepstow is pretty. Very up and down—like it presages what will come on the path. I found a lovely hotel in the centre, fairly reasonably priced because ‘you’re coming in late’. And it didn’t include cooked breakfast—yay! I had a curry and listened to drunk people watching more soccer, and then spent the evening on the surprisingly good free wi-fi. It sounded like a brawl happened all night and as soon as that finished, the construction work started.
Good night Chepstow, good night you.

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