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]

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Day 7 - Admiralty Point to N of Holbeach St Matthew

26 March (0730-1700)
Distance: 22.5 miles (Tot: 130 miles)
Weather: cloud, two light showers, a chilling wind

What a difference a day makes! Yesterday we were in shirt-sleeves, basking in the heat. This afternoon I was wearing long sleeved base layer, fleece, down jacket, waterproof jacket, buffalo mitts and fleece hat - and still didn't feel overly warm. Aside from the drop in temperature, I don't think that sitting by a roaring fire for an hour at lunchtime helped; but I'm getting ahead of myself...

This morning we set out on the first side of a double-sided A4 map that didn't feature a single contour line on either side. The only lumps within sight were the sea defences (along one of which we were walking) and the two man-made islands off the coast. The second island was off my map and proved to be deceptive - it looked so near and yet it was a long time before we were past it.

Second breakfast was taken at the lighthouse at the east side of the mouth of the River Nene (Sir Peter Scott used to live there according to the sign on the wall). The lighthouse on the west side was about 150 yards away (you should be able to see them both on the photo at the top of this post), but it took us two hours of walking to get there as the nearest bridge requires a 3+ mile detour upstream.

At the turning point of that detour is Sutton Bridge where, in the absence of a tea room, we imposed ourselves on the landlord of the New Inn, even though the pub wasn't open. Not only did we get a cup of tea (not that his pub usually serves tea) but he refused payment. It was a good (not to mention warming) break.

Next thing we knew it was approaching 1330 and we were approaching what was supposed to be our night stop. Clearly it was far too early to stop and wild camp, but as we weren't going to be so close to a village for the rest of the day, a detour to Gedney Drove End was called for so that we could pick up water.

The Rising Sun isn't the smartest or most modern pub, but it has friendly owners and free WiFi and we managed to while away an hour there in front of the blazing fire. The packs were once again heavy with water when we left, but I lightened mine a while later as, having stopped for lunch not only did the amount of food get reduced but I started shivering quite violently, so out came the down jacket.

Not wanting to pitch for the night on the military firing range and with the hour too early to stop in any case (not that we'd seen a single person out and about all afternoon), we strolled on. Eventually, after hours and hours of not seeing any flat, smooth grass, what should appear to the side of the sea defence but exactly that. It's nice and springy with moss too. Unfortunately we're completely sheltered from the wind, so we'll have condensation again tonight, but the flat springiness was too good to refuse.
As to today's distance, I can assure you that we won't be walking so far tomorrow. Tomorrow we have a B&B booked in Boston.

(David: we must have come very close to meeting - that would have been a bit of a coincidence!)

Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

1 comment:

  1. This is all nostalgic for me. I guess you are somewhere near the car park shown on the map. I am not sure, but seem to remember the footpath turning to tarmac near there.

    Another afternoon stroll yesterday with magnificent views of the Barbon Hills across the Lune Valley north of Kirkby Lonsdale gave me 6.4 miles and 267m of ascent. I bet that ascent makes you feel jealous, but you will have plenty to come, but not for a while yet.

    I hope it gets a bit warmer for you.