And so now commences a frenetic week of final planning. Street View broadband capacity is being tested to the limit as re-planned, re-booked b&bs affect the route. I have however managed to engineer not just a bit of a result, but two bits of a result, or a bit of two results.
Firstly, with the Cotswold Way likely to be boggy in parts I have taken the view at least to book a back-up road route and, by so doing, saved myself about 20 miles and given myself a series of four shorter days just at that time I might be flagging. That might be just what I needed.
Secondly, with a couple of b&bs not being quite as advertised in Scotland, I have cut the corner just south of Glasgow, taken a slightly longer than expected day (still a manageable 20 miles) and taken a rest day, albeit in a Days Inn yards from the M74.
All in all, along with a couple of other short cuts, this has reduced the total mileage from 1,040 to 1,003, for the moment at least. Now just 62 walking days out of 73 and now a whole 11 rest days. All seems so much more achievable now!
The stock question to me now appears to concern the weather and, in particular, floods. Everyone seems surprised when I tell them that there has been no changing of the route due to the weather, apart from one b&b being closed for repairs in St. Ives (Day 1) and so I had to move to another, somehow nearer the sea, lengthening the route by about 400 yards. Every little helps or, in this case, hinders, but it is a couple of quid cheaper too, for a double room with my Pammy, who is walking the first day and most of the second. I have been advised to stay north of Taunton during the Somerset part of the route (actually one of the common Land’s End to John O’Groats routes does go along the southern part of Cornwall and then up across Devon and Somerset, which might be more risky at this point in time). The latest crisis village, Burrow Bridge, is a few miles south of my southern most point, Bridgwater, and both lie on a river, so I will be glad to get past there and turn left.
Another good day for the charity with a cheque for £140 coming from Sarisbury Athletic Cricket Club from the raffle profits at the dinner dance in Bournemouth. Two other kind donations from work and a number of others set to come over the next few days and weeks. Great stuff and thank you everyone who has donated and pledged. My blog has almost gone viral since Friday: 369 views on Friday and 204 so far today, compared to a pretty steady 40-60 per day over the previous month. It’s probably my biggest fan (whoever that is) who keeps pressing the refresh key but it still makes me feel good to think that so many people are taking an interest.