"I had a much more successful day today. Not as tired, no blister problems, and after asking about the condition of the canal towpaths, we tried them again and they were super today. Lovely and quiet and very picturesque.
The weather was chilly again first thing, but not as cold a yesterday. It was also a bit cloudy, but it brightened up and warmed up fairly quickly, and got up to about 16C again.
As we set off this morning to our starting point at Himley, it seemed like a very quiet Sunday morning, but in the car park where we were starting from, a gigantic car boot sale was taking place and the small lane past the car park was choc-a-bloc, so we did not hang about at the start as we were holding up the traffic.
Just as I started, messages were coming through about the Guernsey Church of Scotland's fund raising breakfast held before this morning's service. It was terrifically supported and raised a whisker under £600. I am very grateful to all who organised and attended that, and am very sorry to have missed it myself!
The route was through narrow lanes and it was a rolling terrain. I found it quite difficult to get into my stride and build up momentum, so I did quite a bit of walking. Guthrie was driving for his first day and was terrific. He kept me updated on the New Zealand v Australia rugby score, he guided me on to the right roads and on to the canal at Cookley and kept me fed and watered throughout the day. Many of the lanes were too narrow for the campervan to drive down, and once I got onto the canal towpath I was away from the cars for quite some time. I had to phone once from the towpath to ask directions.
I came off the towpath at Stourport and then it was back on to rolling roads again. The finish line was at Ombersley, just outside Droitwich and I made it there in 6 hours today.
Today we are having a change from the Premier Inns. We have found that they have become a bit monotonous after a few weeks of a different one every night. Tonight we are staying at Chateau Impney which is huge but nearly empty. It looks like a large French chateau from the outside, but the inside does not match - lots of suits of armour and shields about. At least my bedroom is not purple tonight.
Jannine and Paul Birtwistle from Guernsey have joined us this evening to drive for us until next Saturday, and I am looking forward to Guthrie running or cycling with me now that we have a full complement of drivers again.
I am going to send a couple of photos separately today - one of Doc and Guthrie studying the map, and one of me walking around about Kinver.
Tomorrow we head for Tewkesbury. If you know of anyone in that area who might come out and see us on the way, it would be lovely to hear from you.