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 9 May 2008

Day 25 - Kington to Knighton

(Or according to my 1:800k map of the UK: Knighton to Knighton)

9 May
Distance: 14.5 miles
Number of encounters with (non-killer) bulls: 1
Number of cows we accidentally upset: 1

Hills, sheep and flies were the notable points of today.

After rain in the night (which wasn't mentioned on any of the seven copies of the weather forecast received by text from my sister last night) we set off this morning under grey skies and a low cloud base.

We'd soon ascended into that cloud, just beyond Kington Golf Course*, as we walked through fields upon fields of sheep. This is obviously a sheep farming area - we must have passed hundreds upon hundreds today, most of which paused in their grazing to stare at us as we passed.

It was warm, mind, in spite of the greyness. Very warm indeed. It was a warmth made worse by the steep climbs of the day.

I wouldn't say that we're strangers to walking uphill. Even on this trip Cornwall and Devon were hardly flat and Offa's Dyke so far has had its share of ups and downs. Today, however, those ups were sharp. Some of them so much so that they had been furnished with wooden staircases (and I don't mean wooden steps built into the ground, I mean actual wooden staircases). The less steep hills were just long.

Still, I attacked them with my new found fitness - and found the upper reaches of every single one swarming with flies - a large number of them copulating. It must be the warm, still, heavy weather that they like for such activity because great stretches of the walk resembled a fly convention.

It was near the top of one of the longer inclines that the bull was encountered. I was just about to whip out the camera to capture five very cute calves standing in a line looking straight at us, when Mick moved and frightened them away. Putting the camera back, I turned around, saw the beast behind me and said "Bull".

"Where?" asked Mick

"Just there" I said, pointing "That huge one with the big testicles".

We hastened up the rest of the hill, narrowly avoiding a stampeding cow when we accidentally herded its calf into a corner.

Views were even more curtailed today than the last few days, although I'm sure theyKd be stunning on a clear day, but the sun did start to make a hint of breaking through, just as we reached Knighton.

Having both run out of water shortly before the town, we now sit here outside the Horse and Jockey supping pints of pop before we make our way through town to find ourselves a pitch for the night.

(* For Simon R, Ginger Tart and any other Bandits reading: Kington Golf Course - the highest in England. The first tee is at 1284 feet and it goes uphill from there. Looks worth playing, but not on a windy day)

1 comment:

  1. Well being an optimist all I can say is that balls ought to go much further in the thin air up there. Only downside is that we'd probably need oxygen to get through the round! Looking forward to a full resume of all golf courses on your route when/if you make it back to civilisation!GT