JOGLE Day 41 11/06/17 Wheaton Aston – Much Wenlock 22 miles

A wet night – the earplugs excelled again though, keeping out the sound of the rain and the A5 just the other side of the hedge. My plan to get the names of the 2 LEJOGers I met last night failed as they had already packed up and gone even before I opened my tent at 6.45am!! By the time I was ready to leave the tent had pretty much dried out so off I set, hoping for some clear paths and nice country lanes. The first field on the route was just full of rape seed, no path visible at all, so I consulted the map and made a small diversion, which took me across another farmed field but I was able to cross causing minimal damage. I then followed lanes past the historic Boscobel House before joining the Monarchs Way (route of King Charles II fleeing after defeat in the battle of Worcester). This took me past the allegedly haunted ruins of White Ladies Priory, through some muddy woodlands and onto tracks and roads towards my lunchtime meeting point at Kemberton. Today was the RAF Cosford airshow so the sky was busy with helicopters and formation spitfires. I made good time and arrived early in Kemberton to meet the party of Shirley (no stranger to you now!), Cazzie and Stephen (one of my nephews). After a bite of lunch Shirley, Stephen and I headed off to do the final 10 miles to Much Wenlock, looking forward to going through Ironbridge Gorge on the way. Things didn’t start well – a field path blocked by electric fence, and some overgrown paths before we suddenly emerged on Telford Golf Course. Navigation suddenly got difficult (OS maps don’t show the course layout, the Red Arrows zoomed overhead, and we got distracted watching some decidedly indifferent golf shots). The general sense of direction prevailed and after finding the path off the course through more overgrown woodlands we arrived at the top of the Incline Plane, descended a rough track alongside then underneath to reach a road which took us along the north of Ironbridge Gorge (we had decided we would cross over the Ironbridge itself). The gorge is very steep but the path we took rose gradually around the hillside through more woods then into fields for the final few miles to Much Wenlock where we go the news that Cath was on her way back with Betty (8 hours in total from York via Lincolnshire!) with her mum on board carrying more flapjacks. The guest walkers and support crew left Cath and I alone to resume the familiar motorhome routine.