Further proof of their inexperience follows as they miss a sign about a hundred yards from where I am taking pictures and they end up walking down a hill that they then have to walk back up again. I manage to wave them back to where they need to be and they are following me at a distance. They are probably the only two walkers I have encountered who walk more slowly than me (though I do feel that I am quicker than when I started this) and so I fgure I won't be seeing them again.
By the time I reach Hawkesbury Upton I am ready for a brief detour to the local hostelry having eaten my sandwiches up near the Somerset Memorial. The Beaufort Arms serves a good pint and I end up on a table next to an Australian couple who are, rather heroically, doing the whole of the Cotswold Way in seven days. They leave and their table is taken by Ken and Karen who have loved their walk but are calling it a day. And why not? It's all about enjoying the journey. They are happy to enjoy a couple of drinks and enthuse about the walk and give themselves extra time before they walk again tomorrow. Or they won't, depending on how they feel.
On hearing their story, I am surprised to find that they booked the walking holiday on a whim, just two weeks ago to the day. They hadn't done any training for it and they aren't walkers. She is 58 and he is 72 and they play some golf so figured, how hard can it be? So they booked plane tickets and joined up with a company that arranges bag transfer along the route and stepped out. Respect is due. No wonder I walk a bit faster than them.
Past Horton Court and the lovely views from there and I am very soon in Little Sodbury. It's here that I visit my second church because this is where William Tyndale attended church (although the building was elsewhere in the village then) and decided that he was going to translate the Bible into English. I wonder if it was because the priest was doing such a good job or a bad one of preaching the Bible?
I promise that I won't go off on another one about Tynedale. The church is quite pretty and there is a great sentiment on the lectern in the pulpit. Tynedale is remembered with some strained glass, a little booklet, his figure is carved into the pulpit, there's a page of his translation framed on the wall and there's a great big sign about him outside too. All well and good.
A short sharp climb follows, up to Sodbury Camp, which is the site of an old Iron Age fort, covering 10 acres. High on the hill it is the perfect vantage point for spotting potential enemies as they approached on the A46. From there it's an easy walk down into Old Sodbury. There's a moment or two of confusion as I try and follow the instruction about what to do when I reach the tall sycamore, all the time not having a clue what a sycamore looks like. Just as I am in danger of missing the path by no more than 50 yards, a woman tending to her horses puts me right and I am soon at the point in Old Sodbury where the route crosses the main road.
Here I must leave the Cotswold Way to turn right and walk another couple of miles into Chipping Sodbury. I note that the bus into Chipping Sodbury is on this junction and more by accident than design I see that the last bus is due in two minutes. I wait fifteen before giving up. It races past three minutes later. Nevermind. The terrain is flat and it's still dry. It doesn't take too long to walk and I manage to get home in time to watch the whole of the Germany v Holland game. I can now look forward to two more days walking before I reach my goal, Bath Abbey. They are walks of 9 miles and 10 miles and I plan to do them consecutively in early July. Can't wait!