Caralyn and I had great dreams of a wonderful blog post, telling you all about our epic walk last weekend: our fourth journey along the 35 mile Sandstone Trail in Cheshire. At first I was planning to write the post but I knew I would have no time as work has been so busy. So then Caralyn offered – but it turned out she had no time either. So our dreams of a detailed and entertaining account came to nothing.
Suffice to say that there were more cow-encounters. There was the usual host of entertaining characters: “Frank the dog” and his well-travelled owner; the officious horsewoman who told us off for straying from the path, her snooty demeanour undermined by her failure to grasp English grammar (“May you walk on the path”); the three ultra-muscly ultra-marathon-runners who stopped for a chat…Then there was the rain (Cheshire is very green for a reason). We’d started off with raincoats but it was so muggy and warm we gave them to Michael at a mid-point rendezvous, thinking that if/when it rained, we’d rather get wet and not overheat. Surely a little bit of rain wouldn’t hurt us? As it turned out, we walked for three hours under a torrential downpour, our feet sloshing around in our shoes. The path took us mainly through tall, sopping wet grass which just added an extra wave of soaking to our nether regions. Desperate to get out of the grass, we abandoned the trail and walked on tarmac alongside a busy A-road while the rain continued to pour, traffic thundered by, lorry drivers honked and waved and we wondered if we’d ever get home in one piece. As ever, Michael was waiting at the end of it all with towels, blankets and flasks of hot tea – a very welcome sight.
There was so much more to say – but no time in which to say it. Still, if a picture tells a thousand words, the following hastily-taken-phone-photos might give you a flavour of the day.
It started off so well…early morning sun…forest…the wide open road/path…
It might surprise you to know that we did not put ourselves through all this for the fun of it. No – we were doing a long overdue training walk for the big event of the year: Race to the King. This is an 80km route from Arundel to Winchester. It’s happening on Saturday 25th June – just a few days away. We will do our best to write a better blog post afterwards!