Day 20 Thurs 19-05-2005
Penkridge to Marston Montgomery
Breakfast at 7:00 - on the road at 7:30. It looked like rain. I followed the Staffordshire and Worcestershire canal under the M6, and arrived in Stafford at 10:00. I asked a woman for directions to the library (I wanted to check my route over the Pennine Way, and see if there were any viable alternatives). We walked together to the library, she was on her way to work as a nurse.
I tried to buy more OS maps as I was only a couple ahead of myself. I noticed a strange pattern whenever buying maps: there were many going south, but very few north. I don't know what this says about attitude, or supply and demand. I never actually ran off the map, but was often closer to the end of my supply than I would have liked.
I treated myself to a coffee, then headed off in the direction of Uttoxeter. The Green Man pub in Hixon tempted me in for a pint, and I chatted to Marion and Steve, and a couple of their customers. As I walked down the lanes from the pub, a nice four wheel drive vehicle pulled up alongside me - it was Steve. He had a bright red London Pride (one of my favourite beers) T shirt for me, as I looked in need of a fresh one! What a top bloke!
About a mile further on, a little lad of about one years age was out walking with his Mum. He was clutching a ball, and offered it to me, all smiles. I remembered fondly when both my kids were that age, happy times! I remarked as much to his mum, I hope she didn't think me hopelessly sentimental.
I picked up the Staffordshire Way and followed it to Uttoxeter. I found the route hard to follow, farmland, hedges, no clear path, a bit of a pain. Uttoxeter was a bu**er to get through for some reason, and picking up the Staffs Way was impossible, so I reverted to lanes.
I walked for ages, and eventually reached Marston Montgomery, a picturesque Derbyshire village, at 7:15. Too much walking today! I had phoned ahead and booked a B&B, it turned out to be a converted stable block, more like a holiday cottage. That night, I am ashamed to say I switched on the electric blanket - very soothing to my legs, which were still hurting.
The Green Man Inn