Dick negotiating a stile.
I looked over at the car and the man who asked, "Gesteland? We've been looking for you." My first thought was he was the taxi driver who took us to Chipping Campden, but I didn't recognize his face. I nodded and said yes. He smiled and said, "My name is Peter Reading, I host the Crowley House BandB."
I felt a sudden relief. After all the hours of trudging a person was there to show us the way. It almost made me feel religious. At first I wondered how he knew it was us. Then I realized that with the terrible storm that day, it could only be two drowned rats with their walking sticks, going down the street one step at a time.
"We've been very worried. The luggage transfer people said you'd be here about 1:30 and the people at the Red Lion in Chipping Campdon said you'd left at 10 am. Get in the car and I'll take you the rest of the way." It wasn't far to go, but I couldn't have been more pleased if I had received a million dollars in the lottery. "I will call all those people and tell them you're safe." I was surprised that anyone cared about two old dottering fools walking the Cotswold. It never occurred to me to call the BandB. Then he said to Dick, "Do you work for Global Management?" He had called there to get our mobile phone number. Of course the US one didn't work and no one knows our European phone number accept Jette.
I had a moment of panic. What if I had left one our kid's numbers as an emergency contact and they would have been called. He called US at 4pm English time and we didn't show up for three more hours.
We changed out of our wet clothes to go across the street for dinner. I wasn't hungry, I just hurt everywhere. I drank a beer, not my usual drink and ate something, but I only wanted to go to bed. And we were soaked, me more than Dick, to the skin. Luckily it wasn't very cold.
The next morning I was pretty much back to normal, certainly a bit stiff but feeling pretty good. However, there was no way we would walk that day and it became clear that Dick would not tackle another stile. So we did a retreat. Perhaps for the best.
Peter and his wife Dr Joan Reading did everything they could to help us. They served us tea and cookies at that late hour and offered to do our laundry. Crowley house is the place to go. They offered to take us to the next stop in Stanton, and the people moving our luggage offered to take us along with the suitcases. Peter drove us and then stopped at St Eadbrugha Church which was built in the 800s.