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, 24 January 2010

Squelch, Squelch, Squelch

It was with the added impediment of backpacks (mine filled mainly with towels and water, just to give a representative weight) that we set out from a nearby village, in the rain, on Friday morning. The route was a new one, albeit the majority of it we had followed before as parts of various other routes.

Rain became the prominent feature of the day. It varied from pouring to drizzle (more the former than the latter), although for a whole ten minutes near the end it did stop completely. Of course, we could have chosen to walk on another (drier) day instead, but neither of us had glanced at a weather forecast so we set out in blissful ignorance that there would be barely any let up all day.

With no shelter to be had, we ignored the rumblings of the tummies as lunchtime came and went, instead focussing on the fact that when we reached the canal we would find a bridge under which we could sit. And, of course, once we did reach that bridge and sit down for fifteen minutes we cooled down rapidly, which made for a speedy late-lunch.

It was last-half-mile-syndrome-a-go-go by the time we squelched back at the car (my right Salomon Elios hasn’t magically regained its waterproof qualities and Mick managed to pour quite a quantity of water into his boots too), some five hours after we had left, having covered just shy of 13 (often muddy) miles. Rather a change of pace from our 9.5 miles in 2.5 hours on the two previous days (a change in pace attributed to the packs, the underfoot conditions and the need for a bit of navigation).

The verdict on the route was that it won’t be added to our collection of regularly used training routes. Although not truly offensive, it does contain some not-nice farms (the sort that are more dumping grounds than pleasant farmland), plus a short section of a nasty road. I’ve gone back to the drawing board to try to find something else that’s reasonably local, less muddy and more pleasant. Tomorrow we might just go and sample that something else.

IMG_0469 Mick looking like a vagrant, sheltering under a characterless bridge for lunch


(22 Jan 2010)

Although muddy, the flooding has diminished since last weekend. We’ve only walked the path on the above photo once before (on 4 March 2007), and this week it was much drier than on that occasion (see below)


(4 March 2007)


  1. A lot of water there Gayle. Do I detect Mick being a little pissed off as he sits under that bridge !!!

  2. Actually, that look on Mick's face is 'mouth full of sandwich', which can easily be confused with 'a little pissed off'!