The first days walk passed through ancient bandit country. Woods were once ripped down here as they hid too many thirteenth century thieves. If you made it to Alton with your wallet you were one of the lucky few.
I, as it happens was not. My light weight wallet with half my cash and both my cards slipped out of my pocket unnoticed when I was taking a picture for posterity.
Yet here I am at the end of a gruelling walk in the rain with drenched trousers safe in Alton and looking forward to tomorrow.
Friends are joining me from London tomorrow and on both the weekend days and it will be nice to have company on the journey.
Today I have shared the journey with my memories, a Soul Survivor album from one of the years Nicola and I took a group there and two of them ended up in the choir, a Simon Ponsonby talk on revival, and a clever philosophical debate fron the Veritas Foundation on Nietsche and Christ.
I’ve seen stunning bluebells in English woodlands, beautiful streams, very few people walking in the rain, and had to do a detour up a hill to avoid a bull. Some of the houses here are enormous and some of the footpaths a gauntlet of stinging nettles.
The highlight came at the beginning in the cathedral when Fr Gregory blessed and prayed for me. I felt such a peace and purpose in the pilgrimage.
Great day on balance. Will write again from the less comfortable surroundings of a YHA camping barn tomorrow.