Recent readers left us at a point of high drama but no cliffhanger… i.e. you know that despite the drama, we did find accommodation last night.
This morning, after a superb breakfast cooked by Nicola of Wormleighton Hall…
… I attempted to book an Uber ride to get us back to Napton on the Hill to continue the hike. Drivers clearly didn’t want the work. Five refused to take the booking.
We headed down the drive, Chris musing over what a nightmare it must be to push the bins the 200m to the roadfor kerbside collection.
At that point, the proprietor of one of the hotels I had phoned last night for emergency accommodation phoned back.
“Ask for a taxi number!” shouted Chris. One phone number and fifteen minutes later we were on our way back to Napton.
Some blogs write themselves. Especially the ones where everything goes wrong.
Others are harder work.
Today was straightforward day, dammit… breakfast and a generous donation to the collection bucket to start the day and good luck with people phoning at the right time to help us out.
You were all hoping for another terrible day weren’t you?
A terrible day would be easier to write about.
Today’s sunnier weather meant we met far more people as we walked down the Napton and Warwick stretch of the Grand Union Canal.
People were definitely keen to chat and Chris collected sizeable donations as we passed folk on the towpath and at the locks.
The bucket soon had a weighty rattle.
Chris even went as far as offering his labour in return for donations.
It really was an uneventful day but after yesterday’s drama, I’m not complaining.
We skirted Leamington Spa, sorry, Royal Leamington Spa and some rather nice street art…
… and then entered Warwick passing through a park where we met a barber shop quartet singing on the grass.
The guys were very good singers and, for me, this was a reminder of China with people singing unselfconsiously and for the sheer enjoyment of it in public.
They asked what we were doing and Chris explained his story. We ended up having a lengthy discussion about the challenges of fund raising during a pandemic (one of the singers had had a fund raising trip to Peru postponed until November 2021).
We also discussed mental health in the face of heartbreak and the men talked about how important singing together was. They can’t perform indoors so they come to the park and ensure they stand apart.
The four were very impressed by Chris’s story and his efforts and generously donated. They also offered to sing a song for us but were concerned that this would be viewed as paying us to stay.
Let me make it absolutely clear: the song and the donation were entirely separate matters. The quartet did not have to pay us to listen to a fantastic cover of a Simon and Garfunkel classic.
They were fab.
We continued into the city centre where we were delighted to find our hotel both open and expecting us.
Dinner, drinks and a short stroll around town and… frankly… after another twelve miles hiking, we were done in.
While utterly without the drama of yesterday, it’s still been a pretty arduous day… if you could make a donation, please visit Chris’s page.
He finishes this hike in Stoke next week and he’s done well. Not only has he smashed his target and stretched it, he’s walked every mile and a few extra, thanks to diversions and crap signage, he’s undertaken the administration and organisation to help his supporters join him.
A cracking effort and all of this while grieving his son.