Weather: ⛅️ 🌬
Feeling Today: 👍
So Far: 823.25 miles, 269.08 hours
Farewell to Chepstow, farewell to Offa (though there’s been little evidence of him and his dyke for a couple of days), farewell to Wales. Wales kept me dry throughout and I haven’t seen my waterproofs for more than 10 days. I hope they’re still at the bottom of my pack !
As you all know by now, today would always entail a bit of taxi-ride “cheating”. There was no way I was going to walk over the Severn Crossing, even with Gen holding my hand and even if the estuary wind stopped blowing (which I’m sure never happens!) I could have missed the Severn entirely by following, for example, the Cotswolds Way into the Midlands, but then I would have missed the magnificent Offa’s Dyke path and the charming Marches towns of Knighton, Kington, Hay, Monmouth and Chepstow – all well worth a visit.
So Gen met me in Chepstow and we took a cab ride to Aust – £20 including the toll of £6.70 (which the Government had planned to cut or scrap next year). This is what we missed. The fence on the side of the bridge looks too low and it was very windy. There are also in fact two crossings as the original bridge uses the Beachley headland to split the crossing of about three miles into two.
From Aust we walked south-west along the edge of the estuary. For some reason the second crossing – no pedestrians allowed – is more photogenic than the first one which I couldn’t really capture in a photo.
After a few miles we hit the industrial estates of Avonmouth, negotiating our way around railtracks, busy roads and drainage channels. Avonmouth and its industry is not photogenic at all though there is the new waste incinerator (which burns West London’s waste, transported by train). This isn’t far from New Earth’s failed (and closed) waste-to-energy plant which mainly burned cash and concluded my waste career on a bum note.
Walking on, Gen and I navigated our way through largely ugly areas of outer Bristol until we reached the ‘Downs’ area above Clifton. Here we stopped to enjoy a late Sunday lunch of roast beef ….
I’ll have two nights and a rest day here in Bristol, staying at Gen’s and sleeping on the dining room floor. She also tells me she won’t be providing my usual cooked breakfast!