Day 5 – July 26, 2022
Hi guys…here is todays update on our Day#5 of POF22.
Todays journey was an adventure that eventually was 29.2 miles walked, travelling from west of Whitchurch to south of Market Drayton, a distance of 33 miles. The discrepancy will be explained in the following pages.
Food? Here we go…but with an amazing twist!
Two massive Steak & Ale pies at the Bull & Dog in Coton in Shropshire. It has to said that they each would have fed a family of four with ease. We knew we had met a challenge when we each stopped talking as the last bites were taken! 😊
But the real twist was when the landlord came to our table and asked, ‘Is one of you Dale Thomas?’ Of course we answered in the affirmative, when he then told us that someone on the telephone wanted to buy our food and beers and make a contribution to the cause.
We asked the landlord how he knew it was us and he said, ‘Because the caller had said that one is a bald Welshman and the other is an HGV driver who cannot wrap parcels very well!’
We twigged that it was none other than Lee Atkins, our good friend, making a fabulous contribution to OYF in a very different way! We duly paid for our meals and put all his cash into OYF! Thanks Lee!
Our planned route is detailed below.
Tues 26th Whitchurch to Market Drayton
Start Junc Platt lane SY132PA Whitchurch ///magazine.spits.cookbooks
Wrexham Road 3.6 miles
Canalside Caravan Park
1st Stop Cholmondeley Road Junc, Wrenbury, Nantwich CW5 8HG ///steepest.sometimes.caramel 11.1 miles Dusty Miller Pub
Swanley Lane 15.1 miles
17.2 miles Join Shrophsire Union Canal, Right Turn, South
Millstone Lane 18.2 miles
2nd Break Marsh Ln, Nantwich CW5 5TH ///winds.prepared.survey 20 miles
Bridge Inn Audlem, Crewe CW3 0DX 25.4 miles
Rectory Lane 27.7miles
Maer Lane 31 miles
Finish Tyrley Road Market Drayton TF92AH ///country.riverbank.acoustics 33.5 miles
So the day started well. We parted ways at about 7:30 am and set off on our different paths. I was delighted to see a first for me. A ferret on a morning walk! This is Terri and Binkie the ferret. Terri promised to make a donation after she took our OYF details as she shared with me that her first boyfriend had lost his own life to an incurable brain tumour just after he turned 18 years old.
Shortly after that the first challenge of the day happened to me.
I got lost in Whitchurch.
I was following the canal when suddenly it stopped and there was no more canal! I jumped to my W3W (What 3 Words) app and then to google maps but all they did was lead me into a housing estate where I’m sure residents were looking through their windows and asking themselves why the guy dressed in blue is door-to-door selling a rucksack, water bottles and a fanny pack!
So I played my trump card. I got myself to Sainsburys car park and sent Alan a W3W location so he could meet me.
I soon realized that ///I’m.over.here doesn’t really work! ☹
So I generated a true location key and Alan turned up to the rescue within 15 minutes. Happy days!
Simply put, I screwed up by turning right towards the town centre instead of taking a left and taking a ‘ring canal’ around the town.
So we decided that in the interest of time we would head straight to our next checkpoint in the campervan, have food and drink and then proceed with the days plan. This is the 4 mile discrepancy in the distance of the day.
Even then, look at the next snap…even when you’re ready to go, there’s always someone or something in your way!
This adventure is of course about raising funds for the OYF. But you can’t help but enjoy seeing so many interesting things.
I don’t know why, but of course it must be someone’s job to paint the barges!
And what a great feat of engineering to see the end of the Llangollen Canal step down over many metres and locks to be able to align with the Shropshire Union Canal running southwards. It was amazing to see the barges lining up and taking their turns to either ascend or descend the steps.
I didn’t have time to make any further reading about this horse, situated at the Nantwich marina or the history of the aqueduct (my third of the trip) that crosses a main Nantwich road. Fascinating histories to both I’m sure.
Moving south towards Audlem and Market Drayton the scenery was stunning. Too many opportunities to take great photos. And great pub names too!
But I have to be honest that the ground today has been an unpleasant surprise. In yesterdays blog, I wrote that very often the canal path was difficult with subsidence and debris.
Well today wasn’t easier. If you are slowly walking on an uneven surface for 30 minutes walking a dog…that’s one thing. But when you are trying to keep an even quicker pace over 7-8 hours and the surface is constantly changing between grass, ruts and different cambers…well that is something else.
So we are going to likely add an extra CP from now onwards on each day to allow an extra period of recovery for my legs. It’s just a precaution. 😊
Today was also fun to meet and talk briefly to many of the local coarse fishermen on the canal bank. They were all in good spirits.
When you run the London Marathon, children are by the side of the road holding out jelly babies to keep you going.
Look what I got offered on the Shropshire canal today!!! 😊
And just because we are not in the Everglades or Latin America or Africa or Australia, don’t believe that there are no dangerous predators out there…just watching two innocent charity supporters!! Yes or no?? 😊
So overall a more challenging day than yesterday. Getting lost, the uneven canal paths. But we did cover 29.2 miles and no injury mishaps. The day finished much later at almost 6:30pm. We are at a local pub this evening and will have a good filling of local hearty food.
To all of our supporters of The Ollie Young Foundation, please keep in touch and thanks for any support that you can offer the charity. Nothing is too small, everything is appreciated.
www.pof22.co.uk. or Text OYF £5 to 70085 The amount is up to you
Dale & Alan.