Despite my better intentions I decided to hit the road early today and get walking along the A51, a continuation of the London Road, via Crewe Road, and quiet country lanes. My mood after yesterday was still full of misery and inclined to throw in the towel, as some of these ‘A’ roads are really soul destroying, so before I let those thoughts get the better of me I picked a destination that I really wanted to get to, Stafford. Better to get back on the horse, as it were.
I couldn’t sleep again last night (feet were throbbing) and so was wide awake at 5 am. I decided to miss out on the included breakfast, which incidently is usually quite dire at the Holiday Inn Express. I knew I hadn’t adequately rested, but my mind was centered on getting out before the heavy traffic. My calves were still quite raw from yesterday so I had to take another ibuprofen to null the pain. I would normally walk out the pain, but I really wanted to make it to the Midlands today. Mentally I needed a milestone to cheer me up. I knew this journey would be filled with highs and lows, but the last few days had me wanting to consistently fall into a heap at the side of the road, with my egg and watercress sandwiches, and let the moss grow over me. It is utterly exhausting having your attention fixed on the road for 6 hours straight. You can’t let your focus slip for even a second with the constant flow of traffic.
So I have made a wee plan of action for the next coming days. Tomorrow I’ll head to Walsall (18 miles) and then I’m going to make the big attempt to walk to Worcester (33 miles). It’ll be a huge undertaking but I am gasping for some off road time and think the Severn Way is the way to go. There will also be better opportunities to wild camp as well. At first glance along the route there are a few quiet ‘A’ roads which meet and rejoin ‘The Way’ in order to cut unnecessary mileage out, so we’ll see how this all pans out. Fingers crossed.