Monday, 13th July, North Cerney to Tetbury Upton, 19 miles.
Another long walk today. We begin by heading back to Woodmancote and through some impressive looking gates onto the Macmillan Way. Suddenly we are met with a strange wall of sound that echoes across the valley. It’s a mixture of drumming and some very flat female voice singing a strange song through a microphone that seems to be coming from one of the cottages. Tommy decides to snatch some ash leaves that are just too temptingly close to ignore.
It is drizzling and by the time we have walked along the edge of a field through waist-high grass, my jodhpurs are sopping wet and my feet sloshing around inside my boots.
We take shelter under a tree in Pinbury Park to have our lunch before coming off the trail at Sapperton.
The ground has turned to slippery mud and some of the Bridleways along this section are overhung with low hanging, dripping vegetation. Getting slapped in the face by wet branches is not my idea of fun. Even Tommy has to duck to avoid them as well as stepping over fallen trees blocking our path. There is no way I could have ridden if I had wanted to.
By the time we reach our destination, both Tommy and I are flustered having had to negotiate the B 419 road into Tetbury Upton where a man in a big white van doesn’t slow down and Tommy slues into the hedge. Not a good experience and we are grateful to arrive at our B&B in two pieces, ringing the doorbell and hoping Brenda is in.
Our host, Brenda, has managed to organise a lovely small enclosure for Tommy in a neighbouring garden with the help of her horsey friend, Tessa Surawy, and we settle him in before I jump into the bath for a soak having wrestled to extract myself from my still sopping wet, muddy jodhpurs which have become stuck to my skin like a wet suit. We decide the only way to dry out my boots is to put them in Brenda’s dryer and we have to listen to the clonk clonk as they turn over.
A lovely supper with Brenda talking about our adventures with horses and a chat with a retired vet friend on the phone, and I sleep like a baby in a very comfortable bed until first light as usual. When we go to fetch Tommy the next morning, he is lying down looking very angelic and it seems such a pity to disturb him.