The weather gods still had it in for me this morning. As I left my hotel a series of heavy showers decided to give Stone a good drenching. I dodged the first few by finding shelter, but it was wasting too much time so the waterproofs went on and I just carried on regardless.
Walking along a dual carriageway in the pouring rain is not the best way to spend a Thursday morning, but at least the A34 had a wide footpath to protect me from the traffic. I was making good speed and reached Stafford by mid-morning. The showers had stopped now and it looked like Stafford had seen hardly any rain compared to Stone. I didn't have time to stop but Stafford looked like an interesting place. The A34 took me a few miles further south until I left it to cross Cannock Chase.
To be honest Cannock Chase wasn't the most impressive area of outstanding natural beauty I've ever seen. It reminded me of The New Forest, but much smaller and without the ponies. I didn't stray too much from the road so perhaps I didn't get to see the best it has to offer. When I went into the woods to look at the Katya Memorial it had been removed for repairs. A bit further on I stopped at the war cemeteries, pausing there a while for thought.
Having already clocked up 17 miles without a break by lunchtime I decided to rest my legs and get a bite to eat in Hednesford. From there it took me another hour or so to reach the Chasetown Milk & More depot in Burntwood. It was a pleasure to meet hardworking manager Dave and roundsman Andy while I was there.
Another 7 miles of walking through the West Midlands conurbation brought me to Walsall where I'm staying tonight. Its amazing how the local accents are changing so noticeably day by day as I pass through England, for example the Brummie accent where I am this evening is totally different to the voices I heard in Stone in the morning.
After several days of high mileage I am going to give myself an easy day tomorrow, I will walk as far as the West Bromwich Milk & More depot before taking the afternoon off the catch up with laundry and other chores. On Saturday I will walk to Redditch, Sunday will be a rest day spent with family.
GPS data click here
Mileage today; 28.32 miles, walking time 6 hrs 42 mins, average walking speed 4.2 mph
Weather; frequent heavy showers to start, then bright spells, more showers in the late afternoon, windy, max 18C
Cumulative mileage; 617.41 miles
|Cannock Chase war cemetary|
|Errrrr, the Katya Memorial on Cannock Chase|