Day 62 - Sweet Caroline

Trip Start Sep 06, 2009
Trip End Jun 07, 2010

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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Tuesday, May 18, 2010

It cannot be a coincidence that the Bronze Age burial mound of Belas Knap is situated on top of a hill with fantastic panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.  Whether it was to get the best view of the stars, survey their territory and look out for enemies or just because it was beautiful, the people of the Belas Knap mound picked a wonderful spot.  
After a steep climb up to the mound, the path then drops steeply and confusingly into broad-leaf woodland.   Confusing because the Harvey map definitely shows that The Cotswold Way crosses heathland at this point... Luckily some local walkers put me straight and confirm that I'm not going the wrong way or misinterpreting the map - the path has been moved to combat erosion.  
After the stately Postlip Hall (the walkers recommend their beer festival!), the path heads back uphill to the heathland and, dodging local golfers, to Cleeve Hill, another spot reknowned for its wonderful views of Cheltenham, Gloucestershire and the Cotswolds in general.  
On the way down to Dowdeswell Reservoir where this section ends I meet Paul Bullivant, a keen photographer and walker who has been savouring the fantastic weather and views from the heath.  He very kindly gives me a lift into Cheltenham and tells me all about his project to record his life by taking a daily photograph of something or someone that catches his attention.  He also very kindly offers to sponsor me if I let him know when I get to Land's End.  Don't worry, I won't forget Paul!  

What made me smile today:
Today's song title - chosen because Pat at Oaklands B&B in Winchcombe cannot stop calling me Caroline and she has no idea why because she doesn't know any Carolines!
The golfers on Cleeve Hill.  I think some of them were rather hopeful I might want to caddy for them.
The butterfly reserves on Cleeve Common.  Where was the only place that I saw butterflies today?  About quarter of a mile down the path away from the butterfly reserve!  
Stan - the Thelwell pony.  Not only is he the spitting image of one, he apparently acts like one.  His owner's description of him is not recordable in print but his favourite party trick is to make a run for it out of the gate and down the hill.  The fence was being repaired as we spoke!  
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Paul Bullivant on

Hi Charlie - Good to meet you too and I was very impressed by your determination and high spirits. What a perfect day it was yesterday with the coconut perfume of the gorse and the myriad butterflies - my nose is aglow however! Glad you could catch a rest today - good luck with the final push! There's a £10 when you make it as no doubt you will - good luck - Paul

charlief on

Hi Paul. It was a perfect day, wasn't it? You've also just reminded me of another thing that made me smile - the coconut smell of the gorse flowers. I'd never noticed it before! Let's up there are many more perfect walking days ahead! Charlie

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