Right then! Onwards to Wales! We very reluctantly tore ourselves away from the wonderful Mollie’s Motel this morning and veered towards McDonald’s for breakfast. Don’t look at me like that, I absolutely and unashamedly fucking love a Macca’s brekky. I don’t even need to be hungover. No one does hashbrowns like these guys and the Double Bacon and Egg McMuffin with added sausage is a thing of utter beauty.
Once that was applied to our faceholes we negotiated the cycle lanes around the massive roads full of very fast vehicles approaching the M5 and were eventually deposited on a footpathless road still full of very fast vehicles driving very fucking close to us. Shitting hell. This is how cyclists must feel all the time. It was absolutely the most nerve wracking mile we’d done since we started this, apart from maybe the second hill in the Lulworth Ranges, because at least this road didn’t make me lie down and cry.
I thought yesterday was uneventful but even less happened today. We’re in Gloucestershire now, they seem to maintain their footpaths, I had nothing to whinge about on Instagram. We had to snip a few spiky things with scissors so we could cross stiles without losing an eye but it was mostly joyous and wonderful. We more or less strode to the Severn Bridge with no padlocked gates, broken stiles, impenetrable thistles or fields of crops standing in our right of way.
The route we wanted to take over the bridge was closed but apparently this is just a thing that happens sometimes. You just have to make your way to the other side and walk down that instead. This was hard fucking work, it took ages too. Like, honestly about forty of your Earth minutes. It’s tedious but necessary and there is very little between you and the very large vehicles hurtling down the M48.
The Severn Bridge led us into Chepstow in Wales. Last time we were in Wales it pissed it down near-constantly for two weeks solid and looking at the ominous black clouds ahead it had very similar plans for us this time around. Our feet were fucked after the plod over the bridge which felt like it was comprised of extra hard hard stuff from a specialist hard stuff shop. We plonked ourselves down outside a Tesco Express.
I wouldn’t have described myself as a fair weather camper before this trip but it turns out I’m a bit of a princess and am actually rather fond of roofs if the sky is looking a bit, y’know, drenchy. It’s also nice to stay somewhere the night before and after finishing a trail I feel. It’s like a definite thing then isn’t it, like a proper bookend. I posed the question to Tarrant who was very much on the same page so I called Greenman Backpackers and we’d let the fates decide. If there was space, we’d stay. If not, we’d crack on and get the Offa’s Dyke Path started and wild camp tonight.
“The only thing I’ve got left is an ensuite double,” the lady on the end of the phone told me. Well that just so happens to be our favourite kind of room! We snapped it up, finished cramming our Meal Deals into our chops and off we fucked to our home for the night. Tomorrow though, tomorrow we’d definitely start the Offa’s Dyke Path. It’s only a couple of miles from here to the starting post so we should, in theory, make a vaguely lesbian shaped dent in the trail.
Cribbs Causeway, Somerset, England to Cas-gwent (Chepstow), Sir Fynwy (Monmouthshire), Wales
Stayed at: Greenman Backpackers, Chepstow
Useful shit to know…
- Cribbs Causeway looks daunting but it’s easy and safe to get around it in foot, just check the map properly for the cycle lanes and don’t rely on a homicidal app to plot your route.
- Dinky Local Shop isn’t very well stocked so don’t rely on it if you need more than fans, booze and crisps.
- The only toilet we passed belonged to The Wave but they might let you use it if you ask.
- Chepstow has plenty of places to fill up water, and I believe there are public toilets too but we’ve not used them.