Sunday, 22 April 2007

Trekking with the teenagers

I was joined today by Nathalie and two of her sixth form friends, Barney and Matt. Oh dear, I might have a bit of trouble keeping up! Yvonne and the twins joined us for the first half hour, but turned back at the first sight of a hill. Things seemed to be going fine as we followed what we thought was the course of the river, only to come across a field full of nosey cows. This spurred us on to walk nervously around the edge of the field, only to find that there was no way out. We had no option but to creep past the cows again to the other edge of the field. We kept following the ‘river’ and hit a dead end – the only way out was to clamber tentatively over a barbed wire fence, through a hole in the hedge to come across …. sheep, also intent on following us! (It was OK for them they’re only 18, I’m 52!)
We came to a crossroads at the other end of the field, which surprised us, as it wasn’t supposed to be there. Luckily, a jolly postman stopped and pointed out on the map where we were, oh dear, about a mile north of where we thought we were. He initially offered us a lift, and then looking at our t-shirts, realised where we were heading and said, “perhaps not”. He confessed that he himself was planning to do the same route, but cycling. (He was only about 24, ambitious and was probably wondering what the hell was I thinking about).
Soon after, we were back on the right track and found the real river which we followed until we stopped for lunch and a toe dip in the river at a beautiful spot by a pub with picnic tables. I did my usual trek to the pub for a refill of the water bottles and thought, hmm, “I’d better buy an ice cream, as well, as they don’t seem too hospitable”. The sign outside the pub said: ‘If you choose to picnic at our tables, would you please leave your name and address so we can come and picnic on your patio’. On entering the pub, another sign, ‘If you use our toilets and you are not patrons, would you please leave a donation in the box’.
Trekking on, (good move, Barney, to walk on the shady side of the river) we saw this amazing sight of a rock sliced clean in half, with an amazing carved pattern.
As per usual, the last three or four miles were uphill, on a road, in the burning heat. The sight of 4 people walking backwards up a hill must have been quite bizarre to the oncoming traffic…..

No comments: