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.
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.
I’m camping in the woods above Chepstow and can feel the temperature dropping as the sun sets. Time to get snug.