20th April 2018
Weather: Bristol in thick mist in morning. Did not clear until just after 12:00 after reaching Easter Compton. Then sunny and warm, but a refreshing breeze crossing Severn Estuary.
Started early and very much a day of two halves: cool misty conditions across Durdham Down, through the woods of Coombe Dingle (conversation with a collie-dog walker, who I realised after we parted was a runner) and dewey wet grass fields to the heights of Spaniorum Hill above the Severn Valley.
Then clearer skies, warm along low-lying wet pastures & soggy lanes before a long walk across the M48 Severn bridge, through outskirts of Chepstow.
Another long day. Despite feeling tired each evening I think I am getting addicted to this. A rest day for tomorrow (Saturday 21st) enforced by the need to recover from chafing sores received in yesterday’s sweaty heat & painfully aggravated today. I rarely suffer this, so taken by surprise.
I have a shortlist of 36 photos today, despite the mist, after telling myself to cut down.
Water tank and pavilion on Durdham Down
Durdham Down 07:36 (I walked right past Rowena’s hall of residence, but it was too early to invite myself to breakfast)
Wild garlic flowering in Coombe Dingle
Bamboo in the mist. Blaise Castle estate
Blaise Castle museum, I was here way too early for opening. The nearby cafe had just opened at 09:00, so had a ‘breakfast’ of bacon bap & hot chocolate.
A very small collection of unique houses:
Had a second breakfast at 10:00 courtesy of Henbury’s Co-op. (An orange, a sandwich, 1 pint milk.) Clearly a bacon bap was insufficient.
Crossing the M5 again
Even the bluebells have bloomed today.
View from Spaniorum Hill North (so much better without the mist, surely)
Brynleaze Farm. I suspect rather an old building. Unusual to have water so close. Ridge & furrow in surrounding fields.
Crossing M4, with M48 bridge looming
No way out of this one. Paddle or go a long way back.
So it was time to practice river crossing technique (boots tied to pack).
Another lie down afterwards: this time in sunshine to dry off.
Some very trying stiles today (thin planks, high stepovers), some with hawthorn hedging running along rails both sides.
The village of Aust sits right next to the suspension bridge & M48 (the yellow flowers are dandelions, on cue for their traditional peak on St George’s day)
A sit-down in the churchyard at Aust before tackling the bridge crossing
On M48 Severn Bridge
This was a “Woo hoo!” moment.
I was fascinated by the patterns in the water as the tide was receding (video removed).
The M4 crossing in the distance
I think I worked out what these (dumbbell-like objects) are for. Anyone else like a guess?
Under the bridge
Looking towards Sedbury