Day 25 Bristol to Chepstow

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).

Crocs rock!

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

Author: Walklizard

May your feet stay dry as you walk through the bog. May your face be unblemished as you walk in the sunshine.

5 thoughts on “Day 25 Bristol to Chepstow”

  1. Hi Cary,
    I didnt know what the dumbbells on the bridge were but felt I should so set to on Google to find out. Of course it’s easy to Google something when you already know what it is. It turns out they are Stockbridge tuned mass dampers. They are attached to long slender structures like the deck suspension hangers in your photos. The dampers counteract wind induced vibrations in the hangers which would otherwise cause fatigue failure. We are still enjoying the blog so hope you can keep it going. We are on holiday in Wiltshire and walked to Stonehenge today.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You and my friend Austin (by email) came up with the same answer.
      At the bridge I worked out they couldn’t be tensioners. The asymmetric appearance made me think dampers of harmonic motion, as you say most obviously induced by wind.


    2. You & Austin (by email) came up
      with the same answer.
      The asymmetry gave it away for me: clearly not a handle. Each wire had some fitted & I reasoned each would easily hit a resonant frequency in wind. Bridges being notorious for wobbling, I guessed some effort would have been made to stop it shaking itself to pieces. Thanks for confirmation – hope you are having a good trip.


  2. As I have said earlier Cary, this is an educational tour for all of us reading your blog. I never knew about the dandelions and St George but obviously your Grandmother did for she use to make Dandelion Wine


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