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Published: August 25th 2007
I thought that I had better do an update before I got way to far behind and we have only been gone for 5 days and we have done so much in that time. We are currently in Manchester staying at a couples place that use Couchsurfing and it is 8 in the morning and I shouldn't be up, have a headache from the night before but we are going hiking today so going to be a long day!
Well we started off by heading to Colchester on Monday and only staying there for one night with a French guy and he had a massive place out in the country so was spoilt with that. Anyway we checked out the city first and there was not a great deal to do at all really in that town. I think after five hours we had walked around the whole town and checked out all the sites there was. There is a Castle that was built between 1076-1125 by the Normans and was impressive even though it is nothing like it used to be because off all the wars in between. We didn't go inside though, since we are now tight backpackers
and it was expensive. So we just mainly spent the day laying around enjoying our first day of three months away..
The next day was to Cheltingham and most of the day was spent traveling on trains and buses then trying to find a campsite for the night. We didn't see any of the town really but seemed to be very nice and had parks all over the place but no major Forts, Castles or Churches. Kylie found a library and they let out computers for free to use the internet so that was a bonus. Think they do it all over Brittan, great if I knew that 6 months ago! Anyway so today was going to be our first time sleeping in a tent but the problem is in Cheltingham that the camp site doesn't cater for tents for some stupid reason. So off we went walking to the edge of town trying to find a paddock to sleep in and finally we came across one. We had know idea if we were able to actually sleep here or not but we got away with it for the night so it was all good. Our tent is great
and so easy to put up but we were a little cramped for space inside though but we will get it sorted out.
Wednesday was the day that we have been waiting for, to go into the 'heart' of England to Stow-on-the-Wald. It is only a fifty minute bus ride from Cheltingham passing over rolling hills, through tiny small villages until reaching Stow. This place and the surrounding area seem to have been built for tourism cause everything I imagined that the country and perfect little villages would be were here. We were not to sure what to do when we first arrived so just walked around the place for a bit them hopped into the tourist info place and got a map of the whole area and decided to do a hike around the villages. So we dumped most off our gear in some lockers and headed off with a map that has been hand drawn. We managed it fairly well but got lost for about an hour in one off the villages, think it was called Donnington, trying to find a track that was completly over grown and heading towards the civil war monument. After about 7
hours of walking through picturest villages (they are only 5K apart) and going over rolling green hills we found a hide away next to a river to camp for the night. The next day was pretty much the same except that it was stinking hot and by this time it was our third day walking around, carrying our packs and no shower we must have looked terrible when we got back to Stow! We decided by a majority vote (probably people walking past as well) that we needed to find a place to camp that actually has a shower but this turned out to be another 3K out off town anyway but made it eventually. So we got all cleaned up, washed all our clothes in the shower as well and we were sleeping by 8.30, just buggered from the two days before hand.
We left Stow pretty early in the morning but sooo glad we had come there and seen the old villages. They are pretty much untouched but not by tourism because there were people all over the place, but the other smaller villages we walked to had no one at all. A couple of places we
About to hit the track
went through we didn't see a single sole so that was nice. Friday after Stow we had about 7 hours of bus riding to do on our way to Manchester and since it was Friday and a long weekend the traffic was terrible. Plus our first bus was 50 minutes late because of a shooting on the highway so made it worse as well. We had one stop on the way and it was at Birmingham but we were only there for an hour because of the delays along the way, but from what we have heard and read there is pretty much nothing to do in the second largest city in the UK and it is fairly correct. They have just built a massive shopping complex, the biggest in Europe, to try and get people to come and visit, but backpackers on a tight budget, its not really for us. But I'm sure if Kylie was let loose in there she could do some damage! We arrived in Manchester only 30 minutes late in the end to meet our hosts for the night and just went back to their place as they told us all the bad things about
A nice looking statue
Manchester. It is quite a dangerous city when locals are saying 'ahh you can't go here someone was shot here last week, actually down that street there someone was stabbed last night" So we stayed in last night and they had a mate over as well so we discussed absolutely anything imaginable over a few too many whiskeys and vodkas. Well they are all at uni and one is studying Journalism, one the Dark Ages and the other Chemistry so a wide range of topics covered I'm sure, but it was a great night spending time with locals. I'm sure the ways of the world were solved last night sometime along the way as well. There is a massive young population here though with the uni and 80,000 students going there so it is a quite happening town.
So today we are going to go to the Peak District sometime if we ever get organised for a couple of nights then back here for a night and then across to Wales.
So thats about it for now and we will keep in touch..
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