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]

Monday, 1 August 2011

The Edge of the Waterways Festival

A good chunk of the early part of Saturday morning was spent pondering where I was going to go for a walk. No decision was made until I was on my way out of the door, whereupon I plumped for taking ‘the haute route’ into town (a whole 450 feet of ascent, which is about as much lumpiness as can be found around here). Thinking ahead, I ran back upstairs for a pair of waterproof over-trousers. The day was a fine and warm one, but I knew that part of the route would involve wading through nettles (I’d failed to think, at that point, about the fact that those nettles would be about six feet tall and thus a jacket would also have been handy).

The walk to the edge of town was wholly uneventful. So uneventful that I didn’t even need the waterproofs for their nettle-proof qualities. A wide path has been mown through the nettles, which is quite a refreshing change over previous years.

Thinking about distance as I approached the edge of town I concluded that a) I didn’t much fancy the uninspiring road-walk the rest of the way into town, particularly as there wasn’t anything I desperately needed from there; and b) I hadn’t walked far enough. So, rather than calling Mick for a lift home I wandered down the road to the canal to take the low route back the way I’d come.

With the Waterways Festival in full swing, the canal was an interesting place to be:

 IMG_1647 Double-mooring and buntings were the order of the day for about a mile down the canal


Mooring seems to be well organised, with each ‘mooring bay’ being marked out and numbered by spray paint on the grass, and with each boat issued with a correspondingly numbered parking permit.


That’s either a very big inflatable canoe, or a really small barge! 


Yep, it’s a really small barge. I didn’t notice the little chap at the tiller at the time.

The stats were 10.4 miles walked, with 450 feet of ascent with 2 hours 42 spent moving and 5 minutes 42 seconds spent stopped, thus averaging 3.8mph. My poor little legs, which have been accustomed to sitting down this last month, didn’t know what had hit them with the sudden assault of 20 miles in 2 days.


  1. ...know just what you mean. Calves a shade 'tight' since Saturday... Just the calves though, so could be worse!

  2. Now that my body has forgiven me for the sudden assault on it, after lulling it into a false sense of laziness, I must remember to get out more in August!