A Bridge Into Wales

I like Bristol Youth Hostel but one of my room mates shut the window after I had gone to bed. The room was small, just big enough to accommodate the two sets of bunk beds, and it had a hot radiator under the window. Now, four people in a small room with a radiator create far too much heat to sleep comfortably. Also the chap above me snored; his snoring vibrated the bed and reverberated around the stifling room. He was the only person that got any sleep. Various prods, loud coughs, etc, would stop the noise for a few seconds then it would restart.

I have had this problem before when walking the Camino in Spain and it is difficult to resolve. Of course one initially feels angry with the snorer but he does not deliberately disturb his room mates, the action is subconscious. The other consideration is that I might also snore. I’ve been told that I do when I have had a drink or two. I now don’t drink at all when staying in a dormitory.  

I was up bright and early and worked my way across Bristol. I was very pleasantly surprised at the lovely parklands and green spaces in amongst the suburbs of this busy city. Bristol is a lovely city nowadays with its waterside restaurants and walks, its theatres and art scene and it has some top museums.

middle of severn bridge
getting to the top
view of bridge in the distance
a bridge too far
pylons under the bridge
under the bridge
gate leading onto bridge
here I go
road up to bridge

severn bridge in the distance
getting closer
 It took several hours to walk the 12 miles or so to the Severn Bridge. I was crossing the old bridge but there is pedestrian access to the new ( M4) bridge. It’s a long two and a half mile walk to cross it which is surprisingly steep until halfway. Then it’s a bit of a slog to get through the suburbs of Chepstow into some suitable wild camping countryside. The result is a 20.7 mile walk today and according to my gps I have topped 287 miles so far. This means that I now have less than a thousand miles to go. Hooray!

Crossing into Wales also feels like an important threshold passed.

I met some interesting people today on the road. The blind lady that I helped to cross the road was designing a set of tarot cards that had texture so that you could feel the different cards.I think this could be popular with sighted people as well.

The second lovely person was an old gentleman on his rather tatty bicycle with no brakes. He had been beach-combing after the recent spring tides. We chatted about adventures and how kids today don’t have them…..’where are the children?….look along this beach and there aren’t any children…… they’re all in their rooms playing on computers…they don’t have adventures any more’. He went on to say that he had read a book by Hilloughby about walking from Lands End to John O Groats. He was absolutely delighted when I told him it was that book that inspired me to undertake this quest. He said I should talk to youngsters, ‘inspire them and get them away from those computers’. The third person l met was a woman doing a long distance pilgrimage to Vannes in Brittany. It was good to meet another long distance walker – she was the first I have met on this trip. She was backpacking with a tent but only using ‘proper’ campsites. Good on her, I wish her well. 

tent in a forest
camp for tinight near Chepstow
path through a green forest
this is more like it
I’m camping in the woods above Chepstow and can feel the temperature dropping as the sun sets. Time to get snug.


7 thoughts on “A Bridge Into Wales

  1. Hi Graham
    Ime back in gallery today after a great trip to Berlin for wedding.Its thanks to great friends kerriann and map master malcolm holding the fort so that we could go .Your walk is going so well ,i cant believe how far on you are ,the hair cut looks good .i feel sure that someone will find tilly hat and let you know ,lets hope you finish the walk with this very special hat on your head .all for now as the archers is coming on
    lots of love take care
    Helen Andy stella xxxx


    1. Hi Helen , Andy and Stella
      Lovely to hear from you.
      Am in a Tea Shop in Ross on Wye- you would love it.
      It’s always good to hear from you, especially on days when I don’t meet anyone all day. Found a lovely deer antler today but it’s too big/ heavy to bring home – have left it for somebody else to find.
      Lots of love. G x


  2. Hello Graham. Really interested in the book by Hilloughby that you mention. However, cannot seem to get any clues from the internet re title etc. I would love to read it as I too have long cherished the idea of the long walk, and now in my late 50’s need all the inspiration I can get to make solid plans instead of dreams. I have real admiration for your commitment and achievement, especially the mileage your putting in each day.
    Incidentally; any news on the Tilley?

    Liked by 1 person

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