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]

Friday, 4 April 2014

Day 4 - beyond Fiskerton to by Thorpe

Friday 4 April (0720-1645)
Distance: 18 miles (ish)
Fitbit steps: 44800
Weather: Drizzling start, along with the murk; murk gradually lifting with some sun breaking through this afternoon.
Number of kingfishers seen: 1

Whilst I knew our tent would be seen by many people on the recreational paths on the opposite side of the river last night, I hadn't considered there may be people on the river. At about 7pm the splosh-splosh of oars was heard, swiftly followed by a loud exclamation of "Someone's camping there!", followed by "Hellooooo! Anyone in?". The wind direction meant we were facing away from the river, so we didn't see them as they carried on past, nor the other oars-people who rowed on by during the next twenty minutes. Then all was quiet ... except for the noise of the nearby power station, which continued all night.

Even though it rained early on in the night, the tent was almost dry when we packed away, but the moment we picked up our packs, the drizzle started.

It had dried up by the time we reached Newark, which we approached via the Trent Valley Way, which wanders around the houses (to find a bridge) to get there. If only we could have nipped over the railway bridge, a much more direct route could have been taken.

Newark saw us side-tracked for quite a long time in Morrison's cafe, and whilst there I took the opportunity to nip into Specsavers to see if I can sort out my contact lens issue. They were perfectly willing to be helpful, but scuppered by a lack of stock.

Eventually we left civilisation behind, and back to the river we went, where after a lovely walk along the flood defence, long, wet grass saw me squelching.

When I planned the route I had intended us to continue a few miles further north up the river, before heading due east into Lincoln. Last week, I plotted a more direct route, with the added bonus of avoiding 7 miles of flat, ex-railway line (fast, but exceptionally dull, I expect). Unfortunately, I forgot to print the new route, so we did briefly wander off our map today.

We did so without mishap (the joy of electronic mapping on a mobile phone :-)), and in the process discovered that the bit where two footpaths inexplicably ended in the middle of nowhere have been joined up by a permissive path. That was a relief - I expected to have to trespass!

Alas, the re-route meant there would be slimmer pickings for a good, discreet pitch tonight, and I made a meal (and walked quite a way, which (along with the Newark errands) explains the Fitbit steps far exceeding the day's distance) in trying to find somewhere I would be happy to pitch.

As for the day's surroundings, as the day went on and the murk lifted, we did get to see them (even a glimpse of Lincoln Cathedral in the distance towards the end of the day), but aside from the river and a pleasant ex-sand-pit-nature-reserve, I'm afraid the surroundings just weren't as interesting today as on previous days. The stretches of farmland were mainly inoffensive, but equally unremarkable.

More remarkable has been the outgoing friendliness of the people we've been meeting in these parts. Never have we had so many people chat and ask us what we're doing.

(Martin: I'd put money on you getting the better weather, based on past performance!

Louise: Words with Friends)

Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange


  1. Yellowbellies do tend to be quite a friendly bunch ;-) Oh, that was it! Thank you. Hope Mick's feet are not too uncomfortable.

  2. Sadly our visibility at 800 metres was probably not much better than yours, especially as the High Street didn't have a specsavers shop. We enjoyed a nice stroll though...