After a rubbish nights sleep we got up at 5am and were at Taunton station for 6:20. We waved goodbye to Sam and went to find our platform. We had a bit of a wait at the station as the train wasn't going til 6:50 and it was also running a bit late. Whilst we were sat waiting on the platform we were joined at the platform by an old lady who wouldn't stop talking! She was very cute though and i think she enjoyed having people to talk too. We had been on the road for not even 10 minutes and had already made a friend!
Train journey went well although the lady siting opposite us had a horrible cough and sounded like she was going to be sick...it was hideous! I said to H its a good job Jade isn't here because she would have hated today already, 1) because it was a really early morning and 2) because of the sick coughing lady. Whilst we were on the train Gayle text me and said that her and Mick were going to come and meet us in Stratford with maps which was very nice!
We got into Stratford at 10:20 and it was really strange that Jade wasn't there and Hayley was. I kept looking at her and laughing thinking what are you doing here?! I do feel sorry for her because she let us stay in her house for a week and somehow ended up getting roped into a week of walking. I really appreciated it though, thanks H when you read this! The first 5 miles went pretty quick along a flat cycle track, this took us to a place called Long Marsden where we met Gayle and Mick! It was lovely to see them and they walked with us for the next few miles. Gayle gave us the maps she had sorted for us and she must have spent alot of time on them, it looked like a lot of work. As well as this they also lent us there GPS for the rest of the week which is very clever and i'm sure will come in handy......thankyou again Gayle and Mick!
We left Gayle and Mick and soon faced our first obstacle of the day....a field of cows. I forgot that H was not a big cow fan and she made it clear she did not want to go through the field so we took a detour through another field and walked along the road to a place called Mickleton. On this detour to avoid the cows H managed to electrocute herself on the fence and touched me at the same time so it was a double electrocution! What is it with my family and electric fences?!
From Mickleton it was on to Chipping Campden where the Cotswold Way started. It was a very pretty little village and all the houses looked very smart made out of the cotswold stone. We hoped we might find somewhere just on from here to stop and wild camp for the night but we couldn't see anywhere suitable so we had to push on to a place called Broadway where Gayle had suggested a wild camping spot or a certified caravan and camping site (aka a field and tap).
On the way to Broadway we had another cow drama. We were sat having a break in a seemingly empty field when suddenly a cow popped out from behing a hedge. I have never seen H move so fast, she jumped up grabbed her bag and started walking quickly away calling me over as she walked. As H did not want to pass by the cow we then tried to sneak around the hedge to get to the underpass that was just ahead that would get us under the road we needed to cross. Unfortunately we snuck around to find a load more cows and also some calves. H then started properly panicing and i thought she was going to hyperventilate, she was stressing me out! I dont particularly like cows either but she was a mess!! She was begging me to walk bacj up the field with her and find another way down, i tried to keep her calm and explain that we needed to go under this underpass else we wouldn't be able to cross the road. We ended up walking up then sneaking down the other edge of the field and luckily the cows moved away so we could get through.
We then walked through Broadway and by now we were both very tired and just wanted to set up the tent. We arrived on a road at a place called West End and wre going to climb up the hill to find a wild camp spot when we met an old guy who was out walking his dog. He asked what we were doing and when we told him we were looking for a place to camp he said there wouldn't be anywhere up the hill but there was a site not far at all down the road, we realised this must be the one Gayle had written down. We decided we would go there and walked down the road and soon saw the sign for it however we couldn't actually see where it was. Gayle saved the day again and had written down a phone number so we gave it a call and a lovely man answered. He said to walk straight up the road and it was the field with the caravans in, there weren't any toilets or showers but there was a tap. This was fine for us we really just wanted a patch of grass so we could go to bed and we had been starting to think we would never find one. We got the tent up quick and too tired and not hungry enough to cook we had ham bagettes for dinner. It had been a long day, up at 5am then walking until 8.