I've been having so e blog issues! Last night and the night before I spent an hour is so doing the blog and then attempted to save it but it disappeared into the ether. This is the third and last attempt. This is going to be the very abridged version because it's late and we start walking tomorrow. So here goes.
We left Birchlea Cottage at 7.00am on Friday and drove south to Halesworth in Suffolk. It was a case of four seasons in one day, as we had rain and sunshine in the space of an hour. The Skoda Octavia ran smooth and Sally our GPS guide did a great job, even directing us off the motorway and then back on a bit later to avoid slow traffic. Amazing stuff. Nevertheless it was thirteen hours of travel until we arrived at Hett's cousin Pam's door, about 8.00pm.
Pam and Dudley had a tight schedule organised for us to catch up with people. We saw Pam's daughter Melonie, her husband James and kids Freya and Tristan for lunch and were impressed by their backyard which ran into a large field where they had chickens, visiting deer, rabbits and lots of moles.
Simon the Parrot, liked the chickens until one stuck it's head through the wire and tried to peck him. After that he decided to stay in Sezza's handbag. I suggested he might like to explore one of the mole tunnels, but he just looked at me and said:
"I might get my feathers dirty and besides I don't want to meet a big hairy mole in a dark tunnel. No thank you!"
In the afternoon we caught up with Aunt Violet and her daughter Frances. Violet is a bit frail but quite alert and seemed pleased to see us. Then it was on to Rowley's place, whom we knew from when he and his wife Barbara lived in Western Australia.
They were a noisy but friendly mob but it became quite cold outside waiting for a slow BBQ so we were glad to get back in the warm car and get back home.
Finally Pam and Dudley took us to dinner in a great little pub, The Angel. We had a good meal and then proceeded home through some dark and meandering lanes and beneath abandoned rail tunnels. It was beginning to look like a scene from Midsomer Murders just before the bad guy jumps out at you, especially when Pam got us lost. Fortunately my mobile torch overcame the darkness and Dudley navigated us back to civilisation, avoiding the lurking axe murderer.
We left Halesworth and Pam and Dudley about 10.00am on Sunday and headed west under a blue sky and welcome sunshine. I wanted to avoid the chaos of the M25 around London and so aimed west toward Canbridge and Oxford and then south past Bristol. Unfortunately the sky got greyer as we moved west and the rain was soon falling. The 230 mile journey was supposed to take a bit over four hours but with rest stops and traffic we got into Bath about 4.00pm after six hours on the road! Our trusty GPS led us to Apple Tree Guesthouse and our hostess, Ling.
We wandered around Bath and had a Moroccan meal before crashing out to bed.
Today we returned our hire car and walked back on the river path, alongside the Avon. The buildings are very pretty and we had fun exploring, before sitting down with a beer. In the afternoon we had a really excellent, two hour free tour of Bath and learnt a lot about the place. We managed to catch up with a Rowan and Jane about 5.30pm and had a few drinks and dinner at Garrick's Head pub next to the main theatre. And so to bed for tomorrow we start walking north.