Day 22: 14 Apr 2014; Bristol to Chepstow

Day 22: 14 Apr 2014; Bristol to Chepstow
Walk descriptor LEJOG2014 Day 22
Date Mon 14 Apr 2014 Start to end time 08h 31m
Start point Bristol End point Chepstow
Miles today 20.79 Cu miles 415.04
Ft today 1,718 Cu ft 69,102
Route miles left 1,054.48 Route ft left 129,708
Today’s weather Sunny all day. Cool westerly wind. About 15 C. No rain
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Today’s location
(the red cross in a circle shows where I am at the moment)
GPX based track of today’s walk
(click here to access to access downloadable file)

“This was probably the most interesting day of the walk so far, for a whole variety of reasons, not all of them expected.

The day started well – I’d stayed with relatives in Bristol overnight so had enjoyed proper (i.e. not pub!) food, a decent bed and had actually had my washing done. All brilliant – especially the latter, and particularly good news for the people of Wales who I would be visiting next

So I set off enthusiastically only to learn after a few minutes that this website had crashed. A bit of hasty investigation by my excellent webmaster, Nathan Ruttley, revealed that what had happened was that the hosting company had decided to move the site to a more powerful server, because it is getting so many hits now the old one was struggling. (For the technically minded, apparently there are about 200 people a day spending 5-10 minutes on the site and looking at 2ish pages – which is pretty good I think). So thanks to all readers! Hopefully the website should be OK now.

The next interesting feature of the day happened when I was joined by one of my work colleagues – who happens to be based in Bristol, for a part of my walk through Avonmouth. It wasn’t the most salubrious of areas, but having company along the way certainly made it a lot more enjoyable. She had arranged it by contacting me through the “Message me!” page so if anyone else feels like joining me, please feel free to do the same.

As I was walking, I also managed to arrange accommodation for most of my early journey through Wales – I like to have a week of accommodation pre-arranged and so now I know where I am every night until a week today, when I will be in Machynlleth. (I’m in a B&B tonight, as the local campsite doesn’t take tents(!!), then camping for the next 6 nights, then B&B again).

The walk out of Bristol and through Avonmouth just confirmed in my mind that to a hiker, a city is much like a Bakewell tart. An interesting and tasty bit in the middle, then a large acreage of rather bland and not always attractive filling around the outside. But further out, from around Avonmouth, there were spectacular views of both Severn bridges, looking impressive in the bright spring sunshine.

Then when I got to the “old” (M48) crossing, I was met by a Scout and Scout Leader who are going to Japan on the Jamboree last year. They hiked with me across the bridge, so I had some more company, which was great. I really enjoyed the lofty walk, and felt that it delivered me to the second “chunk” of my journey, through Wales, in style.

Once in Chepstow, my fellow hikers left me and I visited a local Tesco for some refreshment. Whilst in the shop, I noticed the bizarre headline about an exploding grandmother on a tabloid newspaper which really caused me to do a double-take. Then I sampled one of Mars’ new sugary drinks – a “Skittles” milkshake which I can’t really recommend unless you want to know what raspberry flavoured toilet cleaner tastes like.

Now planning tomorrow’s route to Monmouth, which takes in a combination of the Offa’s Dyke and Wye Valley Way paths.”

Today’s photos (click to enlarge)
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Clifton suspension bridge – built 150 years ago by I K Brunel. Superb These things are HUGE!
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You find way-marks for the path in the oddest of places This isn’t a nuclear power station, but it once was..
IMG_7054a lighter cropped IMG_7070
With Scouts, ready to attempt the Severn Crossing! Crossing the M48 Severn Bridge (the “old” bridge). Surreal experience
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A bridge too far? The one on the left is the new M4 Severn Crossing; the one on the right is the old M48 crossing. The electrical pylons just visible near the M48 have the longest span in the UK, at just over a mile
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