Monday, August 17, 1981


We were off by eight-thirty, stopping for a drink and a ‘paper at Broxdon Wood, and by ten we'd covered several long and undulating miles, each crested rise opening up a new stretch of road across brown moorland. By late morning we were dropping down through fields and lowlands and the heat was oppressive. A mile outside Coppaknowle we stopped for dinner feeling absolutely shagged out. We stopped again in the town centre, and again and again, really tired now, my feet a throbbing mass.

Past Scarcott we were in farmland, then woodland, ‘proper’ deciduous stuff, and we were just getting fed up when we reached Trogaton hostel, fifteen miles since Steeplestow. We had a two hour wait until it opened; we watched the wood ants that were everywhere.

Trogaton hostel is simple grade, with no hot water in the washrooms, just a jug from the members’ kitchen. The meal was late but massive, huge dollops of Shepherd’s pie and loads of bread offsetting the conditions a bit. Anyway our fellow diners were a good laugh.

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