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]

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Day 3 - Holme Pierrepoint to Beyond Fiskerton

3 April (0855-1840)
Distance: 17 miles
Fitbit steps: 38650
Weather: heavily overcast and very misty, dry until a few moments before the flysheet went on
Number of times I was surprised by the direction of flow of the river: embarrasingly, several

With a wild-camp planned tonight, and thus a reasonably late finish required, we were in no rush to cover the miles and therefore we had a lie-in and dawdled over packing away. With the overnight showers having apparently abated (and with Mick having completely unpacked his packed bag in search of the missing tent bags which it turned out I had accidentally left in a pocket of the tent - ooops) off we went to continue along the Trent Valley Way.

I had no idea such a Way existed before planning this walk, and unlike so many of these local 'long distance' paths (the ones marked with pink diamonds) it's pretty well waymarked. That's quite helpful on sections like this morning's, which (due to the lack of a path by the river) wander around farmland.

Having passed the most impressive skate-park I've ever seen, an equestrian eventing course and (most excitingly) quite a few contour lines (after two days of none), we rejoined the river at Gunthorpe.

Eight miles had been covered before stopping for elevenses on the pier of the old toll bridge at Gunthorpe (first toll bridge in the country to be replaced with a free bridge, in 1925, so the information sign told us), meaning we needed to slow down if we weren't going to arrive at our night-stop too early.

We did that quite effectively, for having walked a whole five minutes from our elevenses spot we found a cafe, and after cups of tea we spent a long while chatting to two ladies outside. Then, after a gloriously grassy riverside path, there was the Canal and River Trust man at one of the locks with whom another long while was spent. Then there was the pub in Fiskerton, where we drank more tea, chatted to the bar man and obtained water for tonight's camp.

Having walked on a while we found what appears to be a good pitch (although I'll reserve final judgment to see if we get through to tomorrow morning undisturbed). Hidden behind the river embankment, on the edge of the water, we're only visible to people on t'other side of the water - and we're a long way from a bridge.

As for today's scenery: I'm sure that on a clear and sunny day there would have been much to recommend it. In particular, as we climbed high above the river (high being a relative term in these flatlands) at Radcliffe-on-Trent, I'm sure there would usually be excellent views. All we saw all day was murk. We understand that along with this murk, air pollution levels in some areas of the UK are right at the top of the scale. Let's hope it clears soon (although hopefully not to wind and rain!).

(AlanR: in the flat, level, grassy camping field, there was nothing to make any spot better than any other, which made it all the more perplexing that he chose to be our close neighbour.
Martin: if you want firm proof that this isn't an elaborate hoax then you're welcome to come and join us! As for the Fitbit, it's an electronic pedometer with bells and whistles. The on-line 'dashboard' provides graphs showing the number of steps per quarter hour throughout the day, distance, calories and Very Active Minutes, and you can join friends and/or strangers in league tables for a bit of motivation or friendly competition.
Louise: the problem with the horizontally-zipped quilt will come if we want to use a bunkhouse at any point. We'll find ourselves both squeezed onto a single bunk!
JP - A missing bridge is far more troublesome than one which is unexpectedly present!
Laura & Carol: Hello! Nice to hear from you both <waves>.
Anyone else: sorry if I've missed you! It wasn't intentional.)

Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange


  1. Dreich that is.
    Question: which scrabble/word game do you play?

  2. OK - not even you two have the stamina for such a sustained hoax, so I would come and join you - if I hadn't just made another promise. I wonder who'll get more sunshine...