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]

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Shutlingsloe

Tuesday 11 August

Nine days had given us enough time to sort out stuff that needed to be done at home, so Tuesday was down in the diary as ‘Home to Scotland, via Leicester’.

The Leicester visit went smoothly, even if a touch expensively (Colin was due a service) and I discovered that Mick wasn’t exaggerating when he said that the chosen servicing establishment was ‘quite a long walk’ away from the city centre. Pounding the pavements with some purpose, we managed to get there, drink tea and eat second breakfast and quickly browse a bookshop before needing to turn around and walk back. A total of 7.5 miles of pavement were covered, although it would have been less if we’d looked at a map and taken a slightly more direct line on the way in.

Off to Scotland then!

We didn’t take the most direct route to get there, as en-route we had arranged to meet Martin for a quick jaunt up Shutlingsloe – a hill that I’ve long had on my to-do list yet had previously omitted to visit.

Looking like a club outing (nowt like turning up to an event to find everyone’s dressed the same; for this walk Martin and I were wearing matching 2015 TGO Challenge t-shirts and Mick was wearing the 2009 model), off we set with Martin leading the way. Apparently, he’s been up there a couple of times before…

Chatting merrily about the Pyrenees (Martin has just returned from completing the GR11), the ground was soon covered and on the summit we tried hard to sell the TGO Challenge to a trio wielding a good old-fashioned Polaroid camera, before checking out the topograph and establishing that on this clear day we could see far further afield than was covered by said topograph.

Then, chatting some more on the subject of the Pyrenees, back down we went. Martin had a very tasty sounding tea to cook and pub quiz to attend (did you win Martin?) whereas we thought we’d see how far north we could get before bed-time (South Lakes was the answer).

I measured the outing at 3.9 miles with 900’ of ascent. The ascent figure surprised me – it didn’t feel like that much – it must have been all the chatting!

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