Sunday, 20 May 2007

Caroline and Gemma

Tuesday 15th May
We were met by Carol at Penkridge station at 10.00pm. Picked up by a taxi to take us to our lodging in Cannock woods. We were very pleasantly suprised to find we were staying in a pine lodge called The Hermitage. A beautiful retreat with the most wonderful gardens.

Wednesday 16th May
After a good nights sleep we were kindly given a lift back to Penkridge. We called in at the library where Carol picked up her laundry- very kindly done by one of the lovely ladies at the library.
We set off along the road when Carol decided we ought to divert to make the walk more interesting. We proceeded through a field marked 'bull-beware' with trepidation. No bull but very long wet grass and discovered nobody's boots were waterproof! Apart from heavy showers of rain we had a pleasant walk through the woods seeing lots of deer. Had our lunch in the immaculately kept gardens of a German war cemetery followed by a hot chocolate at a remote cafe. Carol trekked us a mile the wrong way before joining the 'Heart of England trail' through Cannock Chase. This was well marked by the green tree emblem. Learnt that Cannock Chase was used until the 1950's as a base for training RAF. We walked down 'Kitbag Hill' thankfully we were going down, not up with Kitbags on like the RAF had to do.Cannock Chase was designated in 1958 because of its beautiful landscape, its wildlife and its history. Finished walking at Castle Ring(an Iron Age hill-fort), then in a very round-about way made our way back to the Hermatige. Spent the evening in the local pub, good food sitting on comfy sofas but not much atmosphere as there were no other customers!.

Thursday 17th May
A more leisurely start to the day. Visited the beautiful gardens where we were staying called the Reflections gardens, in the grounds of the Chaplins house. This was a series of five different themed gardens taking you on a spiritual journey. This was very inspirational and moving and we were able to light a candle for Sophie.
The sun had come out and we took up our journey at Castle Ring, following the Heart of England trail then through fields to Rugeley. Visited the library and food shopping for tonight, met a lovely little girl called Ellie with her dolly Josie. We were unable to think of a alternative 'b' when she asked us what KBO meant. However afterwards we came up with loads. We decided on 'bobbing'(because of Sponge Bob) to be the alternative word for the under 12's. Then we took a leisurely walk onto Colton. We were very greatful to be picked up by Pauline and David (Pauline being one of the lovely ladies from Penkridge library) and a night with home cooking and pj's.

Friday 18th May
Emma Cottrell arrived at 8.30am -we were still in our pj's. Sun came out and set off for another days walk following the Staffordshire Way.
KBO-From Caroline and Gemma