Tuesday, 24 April 2007

Double trouble on the canal

The twins, Danielle and Charlotte, aged 11, wanted to walk with Carol and Yvonne and we thought that this would be a perfect day. From Tiverton to Greenham, the route follows the canal all the way. Flat, no map- reading...perfect.
After a rather late start due to practicalities of transporting bikes, Yvonne arrived to see Carol and the twins in the cafĂ©, drinking hot drinks, reading and writing. “Come on, no time to get comfy, let’s go.”
The twins took in turns with the bike, riding on ahead and waiting for us to catch up, which gave them time to catch their breath (we were going at some pace, clocking off the miles).
All went well until Yvonne noticed a bit missing off her walking stick. A jogger stopped to find out what we were looking for, promising to come back with lost piece if she found it as she was returning this way. “Fat chance”, we thought, and thought no more of it until a breathless yell called us some time later with said piece in hand. She’d run further than she meant to to catch us up. It was this sort of friendliness we came across all day, people nodding their hellos and smiling at us, mellowed by the warm sunshine.
We had the first spots of rain at around midday, but the cooling effect was welcome and it didn’t last long anyway. We passed under umpteen bridges and admired the many ducks and ducklings in the reeds. This was where Carol entered her third county, Somerset.
At the end of the canal, hours earlier than expected, we were pleased that we only had a short trail over the fields till we reached the car. We’ll be home early we said, a bit prematurely!
As usual, the footpath was not as obvious as it looked on the map. Danielle juddered on ahead on her bike to see if she could find the gate at the end of the field. “Help”, she yelled, and proudly displayed what was once a beige walking shoe and was now a squelchy, muddy brown. The middle of the field was a bog! To top it all, the right way was at the top of the field. Imagine the sight of Yvonne and Carol struggling to carry a bike over not one but FOUR stiles in total. The muscles in our legs had been tested so far, now it was time for our arm workout. We rushed past a very smelly dairy farm, where the air smelt of gone-off milk and soon arrived in the picturesque village of Greenham where we eventually found the car hiding up a lane.


Geordie Hack said...

Please contact Ian Duncan at the Scarborough Evening News ian.duncan@yrnltd.co.uk

Kimberley Dunne said...

Hello Carol its Kimberley Dunne. I just found this blog and was amazed by how well you are doing. You have raised so much money already! Good luck. I'll be thinking of you everyday. x

Seonaid said...

Ha ha ha ha! Would have loved to have seen you hoisting the bike over stiles. love Seonaid