Day 3: Cleeve Hill to Birdlip, Do You Like Brilliant Cask Ale and Getting Caught in the Rain?

Here’s something that I don’t think any of my friends and family in the land of eternal summer can possibly wrap their sweaty heads around: I’m sitting in front of a crackling fire – and it’s exactly where I want to be.

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Today started out brilliantly sunny.  I hoofed it up to the highest point of the trail, Cleeve Hill.  I was worried about my foot but, luckily, Anna convinced me to pack some moleskin foot pads, which ended relieving my heel and making my day so much more enjoyable.

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The top of Cleeve Hill, looking down on the city of Cheltenham

Today’s walk was front loaded with about 8 miles of pure vista.  The trail followed the top of an escarpment that runs the edge Cheltenham.  As a result, there were plenty of ups and downs.

The view from the top of Cleeve Hill, looking down on the city of Cheltenham

Cleeve Hill, the starting point, is the hill center right (the higher of the hills) in this picture. The trail followed the top of the hills around to this spot.

I knew there was going to be rain this afternoon so I beat my beat feet to the end point.  I finished the 16 miles in the same amount of time of the first 10 miles of the first leg of the hike.  Despite my best efforts, I still ended up hiking 2 hours in light rain but luckily, the most vertical portions were behind me at that point.  To be perfectly honest, I was looking forward to hiking in the rain.  I don’t want to be wet the whole trip, but I figure that an English hike without rain is like an Old Fashioned without an orange peel.

Road weary and slightly bone chilled, this fire is a very welcome fixture.

I’m hoping that I can convey the variety of the trail by the time I am finished with this blog.  Almost every mile reveals different scenery.  Today, I leave you with a picture of a common forest view.

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Shadow man of Cleeve Hill

Racing rain results in rapid relaxation

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