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, 30 March 2011

Day 11 - By Stenigot to Market Rasen

30 March (0730-1415)
Distance: 15 miles (Tot: 196)
Weather: Cloudy start, light rain from 1315
Number of mole hills seen since Boston: 2,619,832

Once the farmer had stopped his to-ing and fro-ing last night, and once those with guns had stopped shooting whatever they were shooting, and once the bird scarers had passed their 'off' time, it was a quiet night on our pitch. A warm night too - at least comparatively.

My feet were feeling massively better this morning, which lasted until I put my shoes on and stood up. A bit of wishful thinking perhaps. That didn't stop us making tracks at our customary hour, and today progress was more consistent.

Farmland and villages were the theme of the day and we had to remark about how well (but not superfluously) waymarked the Viking Way is. We were on the Way yesterday too, and whilst farmland can so often be hit and miss as to whether paths are evident and whether waymarks will be helpful, there have been no such issues so far on the Viking Way. Every time you need to make a turn a clear signpost will tell you where to go. It's a nice change from playing 'spot the stile' when crossing fields.

Most of the villages have been lovely too. Ludford may not have been an overly attractive village, but it had the bonus of a cafe which appeared at precisely the right time for elevenses and served plentiful quantities of tea and food.
Tealby, on the other hand, by far won the vote for the nicest village today. Even from a distance it looked attractive, and that was a while before the detail of any of the houses could be seen.

It was as we left Tealby that the first spots of rain were felt but we resisted our waterproofs, feeling sure that it was just a passing shower. We even managed to convince ourselves that it had stopped at one point, which lasted until we left the bit of dense woodland which had been sheltering us. Alas, the rain didn't stop. In fact it's still falling as I type this over three hours later, but of course we are now snug in the tent listening to the gentle pitter patter on the fly.

As for the feet - that's the subject for another post.

(Louise - I think that there's been a mast breeding programme in these parts! Three at Fulletby, one north of Stenigot and one NW of Donington on Bain. I think it was the latter which we could see from our pitch last night)
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