Chipping Camden to Alcester
I stayed at the Volunteer Inn in Chipping Camden last night. It was okay except they didn’t have a proper restaurant. Instead, a team of specialist Indian cuisine people arrived from Birmingham and served the food out of the back of their Transit van. I was lucky to get a table because everyone is now throwing caution to the wind and dining out while the Government is paying half the cost. That means the whole of Chipping Camden was block booked and no one cares whether you’ve walked from Woodstock or the restaurant car park. You can’t eat.
Strangely, I had a good breakfast in the Volunteer prepared by a Polish man. Tea with lemon? “That’s how I have it”, he said.
I met The Heart of England Way as arranged and we set off. She was in a playful mood this morning. We hadn’t gone more than a kilometer when she said, “Guess where I am?” She was the other side of a long barbed wire fence and I was heading into a dead end in the local school. I had to back track almost to the start just to get onto the correct path. And then she disappeared behind some bushes and I heard her shout “Catch me if you can” and I did. I told her I was doing 30Km today and to behave herself.
When we reached Mickleton, I decided to walk through the village while the Path skirted around the edge. It’s famous for being the home of the Pudding Club. Members have a lettuce leaf for their main course and then it’s time for pudding.
We stopped at Lower Quinton for a coffee at the village store. The man said £1.75. The conversation wasn’t much better at a pub in Long Marston where I ate a Caesar salad. Later I crossed the Avon and I stopped for a cup of tea in a pub. The young Bartender didn’t know how to make tea. “I don’t drink it”, he said. Tea bag, hot water. What could go wrong? Quite a lot.
That was the extent of my conversation today so I was alone with my thoughts again which were frequently interrupted by the many gates and styles. The Heart of England Way said she liked the bit about being sadistic yesterday and so she provided more brambles and quite a few stinging nettles today.