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]

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Day 2 - to The National Watersports Centre

2 April (0745-1425)
Distance: 15ish miles (maybe a bit less)
Fitbit steps: 39000
Weather: persistent mist and quite cool; the vaguest hint of the sun trying to break through as we arrived at our destination was swiftly followed by rain.

It was a damp start today. The mist had come down in the night, there wasn't a breath of wind, and Susie had become 'condensation central'. With the new quilt being synthetic, there was no fretting about the dampness we were suffering.

Talking of the quilt, all went well on night 1 (not that a warm night was the most rigorous test), so much so that it was hard to extract ourselves this morning. However, I did come to realise that a change in routine is required. Usually I would pack all my stuff away whilst Mick's stays snug in his sleeping bag. That's not possible with a quilt which zips in half horizontally.

Even with the difficulty in dragging ourselves out of bed, we were away at a reasonable hour, and immediately set out upon what transpired to be an unnecessary half-mile detour. All my internet research (including aerial photos) told me that a bridge we needed has long been missing. Accordingly, we detoured, only to find a new bridge most clearly in evidence. Hey ho!

Having joined the river, we followed it for most of the morning, leaving it only when the path took us instead along small sections of canal which short-cutted the river (originally built to avoid shallow or tricky bits of river which threatened the viability of the waterway as a trade-route). All the way there was plenty to see, with lots of boat life, interesting buildings on the opposite bank ranging from shacks to modern houses on stilts (but mainly tending towards the former), a fine weir, and some huge areas of wetlands around Attenborough.

The only negative of the morning (aside from the cool, dull weather) was the going underfoot. It got notably worse when we hit the (very popular) wetlands area where 'improvement' works in 2012 saw the path tarmacked. It may be fast, but it's not my favourite of walking surfaces.

Mick's feet, in particular, did protest at the hard, flat surface and he concluded that he had made the wrong choice of footwear for this walk (it's always one of us!). So, rather than follow our intended riverside route all the way to the end of the day, when we reached the A52 we scrambled up a bank and altered our direction to go via a sports shop in West Bridgford. Alas, they didn't have any suitable trail runners for Mick, so on we continued, along our new route to our night-stop by the National Water Sports Centre at Holme Pierrepoint.

The first thing we did on arrival was to set everything out to dry. The second thing was to call a running shop in Lincoln to arrange for a pair of Mick's favourite shoes to be in stock when we pass on Saturday. Then, late this afternoon (in the rain - boo hiss), I took myself off for a walk to have a look around the Water Sports Centre, where there was lots of activity, on dry ground, on the lake and on the white-water course.

I got back to the campsite to find that having left our tent on its lonesome amongst acres of empty grass, whilst I was gone someone else has come along and pitched right next to us. Why, oh, why, do people do that? There's nothing about that spot that's any better than the other acres around us. I do hope he doesn't snore. (And, if he thinks he's getting a lie-in in the morning... Mwah ha ha ha.)

('Fraid I forgot to take a blog photo today, so you'll have to make do with this one I took with Conrad in mind. I think it shows how murky the day was too.)

Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange


  1. Miserable day here too. Its probably that you had pitched in the best spot and he/she picked 2nd best spot.

  2. The pic has been hijacked into my Signs collection (with appropriate attribution).

  3. ah gale, aerial photo's of dubious date and bridges, on the welsh coast a bridge on google wasn't there on the ground, but since then traveling up the welsh coast on a train i saw a new bridge in place. ho hum, thanks for blogging.
    cheers J.P.

  4. Well done, it all seems so real, especially the bit about the errant neighbour. Perhaps it's not a hoax after all, though you must be some way away from us - the sun was trying to shine in Timperley today.
    What are 'fitbit steps'?

  5. Just had a look-see at the map to locate Attenborough, gottit. As Martin says, the shine was sort of sunning around here today - but it's raining this evening. Fingers crossed for a good day tomorrow for you both.

  6. I think if you want to avoid neighbours, you need to get rid of the sign, "We love company, snuggle up!".

    You don't want problems with your feet Mick. It hurts. My foot is feeling much better!

    I think the horizontally unzipped duvet was very well planned, sneaky.

    It's a looooong time since I 'camped' at Holme Pierpoint. In a Bedford van.