Day 7 The Forest of Dean to Clun

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Heavy rain threatened to stop play, with strong winds and a heavy drizzle (possibly oxymoronic, but that’s what it was) greeting us from our tents this morning.

Fortunately it cleared up after breakfast, leaving a grey, grey sky that cast no shadows. With 60 miles to cover we found ourselves crunching through the revolutions.

Not a huge amount happened along the way, our moods perhaps matching the flatness of the light? We did happen upon a field of alpacas though, happily munching away on the damp grass. Incongruous in the Gloucestershire countryside, but deeply lovely.

And later in the day we cycled into Wigmore, and pulled up outside the local store, which was evidently just closing for the day. The shopkeeper caught my eye, smiled with a wink, and told me I was just in time for a cup of tea! It turned out the shop, Mortimer Country Stores, was a volunteer-run community store, which the locals had bought after the previous store, a generic stop’n’shop, had failed to make money. The new shop was stocked with a great range of food and drink, much of it locally sourced.

The two gents working at the shop that afternoon were fantastically helpful and chatty, even showing us to the village green so we’d have somewhere to sit and eat. Just lovely. Great to see community spirit in action.

This evening we’re staying at Clun Youth Hostel, a beautiful converted water mill. Wooden bunk-beds again though. Gonna be a creaky night…

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