It was a nice morning and we left Uttoxeter racecourse just after 9. We were following the Staffordshire Way again today and had planned to meet Gayle and her husband Mick somewhere between Uttoxeter and Abbots Bromley. After having a bit of difficulty initially getting back on the path we managed to stay on it without getting lost until yet again we got signposted into a field and couldn't get out! Whilst we were in this field Gayle rang and asked where we were, i must have sounded like an idea saying, "ummmm....lost in a field!" I couldn't even properly name a place we were near because our maps are so hard to read but Gayle said the were on the second of 2 roads that crossed the Stafs Way simultaneously and i could see them on the map and knew we were close. After searching for a gate in the direction the signpost had pointed and not finding it we headed back to the stile we had come from and Mum asked at the farm how we could get out. We got pointed to another corner of the field where we found a bolted gate with a dead sheep lying in front of it. This obviously wasnt the way out we wanted but it was a way out so we took it and just had to hold our breath as we climbed the fence. This was not easy an easy task for Jade with her bad leg!
The other side of the fence was the road we needed so we followed it round the corner to find Mick and Gayle. Mick and Gayle both walked with us to Abbots Bromley and it was nice to
This is Jade continuing this, making myself useful whilst in Torquay
I think Beck slightly under-described the whole sheep incident! It was hideous, one of those smells where you smell it before you see it! And as we had to all take our bags off to get over the massive gate, we were hanging around for quite a while! I made an absolute meal out of getting over - I learnt the hard way it difficult to climb over gates and fences with a leg you can't lift! Urgh, it made me feel really sick, asthetically not as bad as the sheep we saw on day 50 which was COVERED in maggots but it won in the smell department - a win I would not be proud of.
So bags back on we knew we were withing meters of meeting Mick and Gayle after going slightly off-piste I think they thought we were dum dum navigators but they agreed that the Staffordshire Way was lacking signposts! We didn't really know what to expect when meeting Mick and Gayle, they were just 2 strangers coming to our rescue with our much needed gas! But they told us they had parked in Abbots Bromley so we would have guides the way back :) I think this was very fortunate, not sure if anyone said it at the time but I very much doubt we would have found our way as smoothly as we did with them, it was a maze of fields, roads, paths and back gardens!
When we stopped for some food, they wondered what one earth I was carrying in my bag as it was so big and heavy! It was really affecting my leg today and almost made walking unbearable because of the pressure, Gayle offered to carry the burden for me but I couldn't punish someone who was being so nice to us! So I manned up and carried on.
When we arrived in Abbots Bromley (Guinea pig testing place) Mick and Gayle said that we could stay at theirs for the night! It was an offer we could not refuse so Mick took our burden rucksacks and drove home while Gayle carried on walking with us to Rugeley. As soon as Mick left us we carried on and soon arrived in the next village, this next section was made very amusing by our new friend Jackson. Jackson was the cutest and friendliest black labrador I have ever met! Unfortunatly he was also the sluggiest as he had been swimming in the village pond, so I don't think Mandy was too impressed when Jackson wanted cuddles!
Jackson's only fault was that we has too friendly! When we left the village he started to follow us, we thought he would get bored and go home...but he didn't, I think I was the only one who like our new cute team member, after all, finders keepers! When we started to go over the styles he somehow managed to......with a lot of stuggle, after 3 styles and ending up in a horse field we decided we should do something so I rang the owner which didn't really get us very far as he was at work so we decided to take him back to the pond, Mandy and Becks went with him as I was crippled, Jackson could not get back over the styles as they were facing downhill, it was very funny to watch Mandy (not Jackson's biggest fan) posting him limbs through the wooden style, it made brilliant viewing!
Gayle had a shortcut to walk along the dam, but as we were about to walk off the other side a guy came out and told us we were trespassing (we knew this) but played dumb, Gayle then wittingly replied 'we could either trespass all along the dam again, or tresspass the last bit to get on t the road'. Well, he didn't really know what to say about that! By the time we got to the canal in Rugeley I was on my last legs so Mick came and picked us up, so far meeting Mick and Gayle has proved how lovely strangers can be and there are some genuinly lovely people out there who cannot go out of their way enough to help you!
Mick had made us a lovely Roast Chicken and all the trimmings for dinner and it was perfect! We have missed home cooking and was exactly what the doctor ordered! Me and Becks were in yet another civilzed situation and had to act like human beings rather than animals, I think we managed after a glass of wine :) After Dinner and pudding, Gayle was desperate to find out what was in my bag so I had to prepare to be ripped apart and part with so called 'luxaries' which compromised of an extra pair of pants, an extra tshirt and moisturiser, Gayle might disagree and say there was a lot of other 'extras'.She weighed my bag and it came to 25 odd kg which I have been told is a hideous amaout to carry! I had to fight for some of my kit though, Mick, gayle and Mandy wanted to chuck out my diary and fountain pen! I hope the diary appriciates I put up a fight! Luckily Beck was on my side and agreed it was important :)
Its amazing really the extra size and weight I was carrying, however there wa a positivie; its zapped the back fat! Good result if you ask me, however I am not sure if getting rid of some of my things will lead to a nervous breakdown as I am someone who likes things and stuff around me. Although I was given two options: carry all the stuff and have to go home wth injury or half the weigh and finish the thing. Well look where it got me, I halved the weight and now I am stuck at home :(