Composed on Day 33.
Cannock Chase to Uttoxeter. Today has been dominated by rain. It started about 8 last night and finished at 6 this evening (though has since tried to get going again).
Cagoule overtrousers and hat have been on all day. Full credit to my Berghaus boots, after >400 m they are still keeping my feet dry.
Cannock Chase was a delight to walk through- an easy track and a pleasant mixture of heath and forest. After a few km progressively more houses began to appear, some rather fine. Horse country.
I successfully located the footpath taking me to a canal and to pick up the detailed route described to Abbots Bromley. Colton was a wealthy looking village. It had a church but did not appear to have a cemetery but I saw a sign to “The Burial Ground”.
Followed “Park Pale” for a km to sight of Blithfield Reservoir. This was a raised embankment (still visible) forming the boundary of an ancient deer park.
Workmen recommended The Goat’s Head in Abbots Bromley. Wise counsel. I had a splendid fish pie with chips and vegetables. They were very encouraging that I bring my wet gear into the bar and were more than happy for me to charge my phone.
It had varied from light to heavy drizzle though the morning. Not even 5 min let up. It repeated this through the afternoon.
The last hour was especially hard. I estimate I crossed 20 stiles in that time and shifted a significant amount of one farmer’s soil northwards. Not only were my boots well clagged but my walking poles were also getting heavy with their load of clay.
Then, on entering Uttoxeter the heavens really opened. I sheltered under a tree for a while but there really was no point-my outer gear was already thoroughly wet and I was well sealed up.
A very kind gentleman, Andy, helped me get to Tescos and also pointed the way to the racecourse. Thank you Andy.
The lad on checkout was full of interest in my walk and would have given me some money but, as he explained, on checkout they are not allowed to have any of their personal money with them.
Another kind man showed me where to check in on the racecourse campsite-and by the time I had had a shower the rain had stopped. A fresh breeze has helped dry things a little.
Tea was Smash and a tin of ratatouile accompanied by salad and washed down by a fine fruit smoothie. Milk on the Muesli tomorrow!
No photos today-too wet.
9 pm and steadily raining.