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, 27 March 2011

Day 8 - N of Holbeach St Matthew to Boston

27 March (0810-1445)
Distance: 17 miles (Tot: 147 miles)
Weather: cloudy, couple of minutes of vague sunniness
Number of killer dogs: 3
Number of horses which wanted to nibble our gear and who followed us quite a distance trying: 10

There was a theft in the night. A whole hour of precious sleep was taken from us. A bit of grumbling therefore ensued, and the alarm was reset for half an hour later.

It had been a slightly warmer night, and thanks to the wind swinging around a bit at some point it was a completely dry tent that got packed away this morning, contrary to my expectations. A dry tent, plus almost-empty food bags, plus reduced water supplies gave us much more comfortable packs today, so we set out with a spring in our steps.

The day (another without any contour lines on either side of the map) was spent almost exclusively on sea defences; mainly the modern one which is nearest to the sea, but for part of the route we deviated inland a little onto an old sea bank. Our findings were that the modern dyke is flat and smooth on top, usually with short grass. The old dyke is none of those things. It did at one point feature some overly inquisitive horses which tried to appear nonchalant for a while until curiosity got the better of one of them, which set off all the others to follow us.

The day also featured another lengthy detour to a bridge. It was (a very long) four miles to cross to Fosdyke, but only a couple of miles back up the other side as it was at that point that we opted to see how the land lay a little further inland.

I'm not sure whether it was the stolen hour, the cumulative effect of the miles we've covered over the last few days, the psychological effect of being eager to reach Boston for a night of luxury, or just a touch of dehydration, but I was almost dead on my feet by the time we were 12 miles through the day. I was almost dead on sore feet too, as a blister that had been plaguing me (yes! Horrors! A blister!), on the side of the sole of my foot, reformed yet again. I lost patience with it this time, and overlooking the scrap-metal quay at Port Boston I took a needle and thread to it.

Such was my tiredness, that I tried to delegate the grocery shopping to Mick when we finally found Asda in Boston. Alas, Mick claimed that he wasn't qualified to do the shopping and so, disappointed that the cafe was shut, he sat on guard on a bench whilst I walked an extra half of a mile around the mega-store.

Happily, the B&B wasn't too far away, and as a reward for having to give extra information on checking in (as it's Census day today) we were given a cup of tea in the living room. It was just what the doctor ordered.

Hopefully, a comfortable bed tonight will perform miracles and the body will feel verily refreshed for our nice sensibly-short day tomorrow.

(Conrad: the tarmac runs along a chunk of the firing range, but becomes loose aggregate then grass well before the car park. We pitched beyond the car park (beyond the likely wandering ground of any youths that may choose to congregate there on a Saturday night), on a perfect pitch next to a pumping station. As for hills, I was only commenting today that my feet and legs would really appreciate a hill right about now!)

(Sorry, no photo today; I only took one and it's too poor to share. I'll try harder tomorrow.)

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