(Day 2′s progress is mostly shown on http://runkeeper.com/user/icottee/activity/57719716 with the final hour on http://runkeeper.com/user/icottee/activity/57755901 due to Runkeeper going odd).
Day 2 was a very different day from day 1. The bright sunshine had gone and the day started wet and misty. However, my chance of having a proper breakfast for the first time in over a year cheered me up no end. We had less to walk on this day and we were taking things early so we didn’t actually get on our way until around 10:30.
This was the first time we had walked in rain surprisingly enough. Most of the morning was spent in a steady drizzle which was a shame as the views from the first part of the day can be stunning – especially when you reach places like Raw Head, the highest point of the trail. Having said that – it was still pretty breathtaking.
What became clear as we entered into the afternoon was that the second day certainly felt just as long as the first. I thought the first section of the walk would take around 2 hours but it actually took closer to 3.1/2. At one point when Hugo was complaining he couldn’t go much further I didn’t have the heart to tell him we’d not even got half way yet.
On our previous Sunday’s walk we’d came across a Llama although none of us could remember at which point. Both of us thought we’d found it a lot earlier than, as it transpired, we actually had. Every turn of the corner we’d think we’d find him and repeatedly we were disappointed. By the time we did actually come across the fellow (Pearl Farm, Tushingham) we were 19km in and already planning a stop at the pub on the Llangollen Pub a mere 1 km further. We were both wet, tired and my feet hurt like mad. Imagine the feeling when, having reached the pub, we discovered it closed.
Hugo felt like his shoes were water logged by this point and the rain was pretty steady but there was nothing to do but keep walking where, 30 minutes later, we discovered the Horse and Jockey at Grindley Brook. This pub welcomes muddy boots and we virtually collapsed with joy to discover it open. A 30 minute stop turned into more like 45 (the beer was very good) and we then set off for the final stint of the journey which was fortunately only 3.55 km. The rain had also relented by this point and the beer had removed some of the pain from my blisters.
So easy walking down the canal into Whitchurch. It’s probably the dullest part of the walk (but I live by a canal, so maybe I’m just bored of them). The last part walks through housing until you arrive at a car park with a small monument to mark the end (or beginning) of the trail. Unlike the Frodsham part which starts in the high street this seemed a little disappointing but having completed it we were not complaining. Slightly odder was that then walking into the sleepy town of Whitchurch we came across a police van blocking the road and a group of policemen armed with machine guns. We were definitely back in civilisation.
So we finished the walk with an Italian meal. The girls joined us – wine and beer was drunk, pizza was eaten and legs were rested. I can recommend the Italian restaurant Etzio in Whitchurch if ever you have need of one.
All in all, a most enjoyable trip which Hugo seemed to enjoy although the pleasure of finishing was probably when he was at his happiest. We’re talking about our next walks already.
Things I learnt:
- Don’t forget a small 1st Aid kit. Useful for blisters or unexpected accidents (fortunately we didn’t have any of the latter)
- If your eight year old son needs to take a dump miles from civilisation, you need to preplan
- Eating a guilt free full English breakfast is a wonderful experience