The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Sunday 18 May 2008

Day 34 - Weston to North Rode, Congleton

18 May
Distance: 20 miles
No. of overly inquisitive calves: 9
No. of disinterested bulls: 2 (disinterested in us, that is; quite interested in the cows around them)

We were two hours into this morning's walk, having already waded through lots of grass and been forced to take a detour where a path had been diverted, when we saw Sam and Steve coming towards us.

Sam and Steve worked with Mick, back when Mick was gainfully employed, and unsurprisingly it was no coincidental meeting. They had come to verify on behalf of the Ultra PMES chaps that we really are walking this walk - and to walk a way with us.

Their timing in meeting us was good: we came into their view just as we were being followed closely across a field by some overly inquisitve calves.

Together we all walked to the Trent & Mersey canal, along it for a while then back across farmland following still the South Cheshire Way, until time demanded that they retrace their steps back to their car. It was very nice to have company walking (and we were most grateful that they fulfilled our request of bringing flapjacks to solve a local availability problem!).

Soon after lunch on the front lawn of Little Moreton Hall, we left the South Cheshie Way, just shy of its end point of Mow Cop (which in my head is called Cow Mop), and took to the Macclesfield Canal.

After the best part of two days on the South Cheshire Way, I've been pleasantly surprised with it. I had it in my mind that, skirting and passing between industrial areas as we are, it would be one of the least inspiring parts of the entire walk (indeed, having shared that information with Vic she changed her mind about walking with us yesterday and thus missed the treat of rain and long wet grass!). Whilst the Way didn't offer much in terms of views, interesting buildings or historical features, it was entirely inoffensive farmland which kept us off roads whilst speeding us towards the Peak District.

Once on the canal, the map indicated that after about six miles along its towpath we would reach our B&B for the night.

We duly left the canal at the appropriate bridge and followed a couple of roads to where I had marked the location of the B&B.

When we couldn't find it we did the sensible thing and called to ask for directions.

Then it transpired that I had completely erroneously marked the location as being a different Yew Tree Farm some 2.5 miles away from the correct one.

It was news that, back in Cornwall, when my body protested at the end of a long day, would have caused me a certain loss of morale and maybe a touch of whining. Today neither mind nor body made a protest at the unexpected extension.

Indeed, on the bright side I noted that at least the accommodation was in the right direction, added no greater distance to our overall mileage and meant that we have a shorter day tomorrow.

The fact that it has no pub nearby is a small disappointment, but we have dehydrated meals aplenty, so we'll be getting the stove out in the garden later.

So, another good day with a bit of sunshine, much drier long grass and, most importantly, with some good company.


  1. Pardon my literalism, but "Disinterested" (of bulls, Day 34) means "unbiased". What you mean in "uninterested". But I suppose you could say that the bulls were biased towards the cows ...

  2. I've come over all funny now that I realise I have trodden where the great M&G have trod - the lawn at the front of Little Moreton Hall, the Macclesfield Canal and Cow Mop (sorry Mow Cop).

  3. tsk. I put uninterested and Mick 'corrected' me and had me change it!