Trying to forget the end is near

One of the problems of getting so close to the end – besides the question of how do I get back to normality when I don’t have to get up every morning and walk – is that it gets easy to concentrate on the end and not pay attention to the days between now and then. For instance, today I found myself thinking that in two weeks time I’d be finished and possibly on a train home and if that’s not pride coming before a fall and fate being sorely tempted, I’m not sure what is. So, time to refocus on where I am, not where I hope to be in a few days.

This week I was on the last National Trail that I’ll be following for any substantial way and the Cotswold Way is a very nice walk, one that I can see becoming very popular, as it – with the possible exception of the ones in Norfolk – is perhaps the easiest of the trails, not too rough, no really savage ascents or descents and nice scenery all the time. The only trouble is that most of it is through Gloucestershire, which is a strange county. It all looks rather nice on the surface, but it seems like a thin veneer over something strange beneath, like an edition of The Jeremy Kyle Show set amongst beautifully architectured stone and country.

That got me to Bath yesterday, even though I ended up staying in Bristol as there were spaces at the hostel here, but none at the one in Bath. I’m here again tonight, having done a bit of shuttling with trains and buses, and managing to walk further than I planned, getting all the way to Wells, thus linking Bath and Wells in one baby-eating bishopric of a walk. I’m still going to Street tomorrow though, there not being any place to stop overnight between there and Taunton, so just a half-day. I did get to see Glastonbury Tor today, coming down the hill into Wells, seeing it and the tower rising up in the distance, cloaked in the mist of oncoming rain that threatened to soak me, but didn’t hit the town in time to catch me before I got on my bus to Bristol.

And that’s 859 miles down, probably a bit less than 200 to go, and tomorrow marks two months on the road – it took me an entire month to get out of Scotland, so having gone so far through England in the same time helps to give an idea of just how big Scotland is, really.

One thought on “Trying to forget the end is near”

  1. I am full of admiration for you Nick, and a little envious – because I’ve always wanted to walk from John O’Groats to Lands End. How many miles have you averaged each day – and what state are your feet in? It was good to read the article in the Advertiser and to be reminded about Simon and your family. I think your website is fascinating – and the pictures are wonderful. With your permission, may I use them for my next school assembly at Walkwood? Keep on going – not much further now! Perhaps you could give me some advice, just in case I ever get to realise my ambition to do the walk? Take care, Rev. Maureen Dew (St. Luke’s Church)

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