Friday, November 16, 2007

The Penultimate part of the Coleridge Way

Aside

# 1 son thought we should run the last two stretches together but it was meant to be the most difficult part and I felt 6.3 miles was probably enough in one go for me. Wise decision. It was a beautiful day and we left in two cars and drove to Webber’s Post which would be the end of today’s walk. Then MTL drove us to Wheddon Cross the start of the walk and left us - to meet up at lunch time. We were going to keep in touch by mobiles and #1 son ran through the motions to make sure MTL could work the phone. Unfortunately he somehow managed to make it silent so there was no communication.

En route we had stopped the car to admire a wonderful mist in the valley which always makes me want to sing-

And when the mist is in the valley,

And when the clouds are holding still,

If you’re not there I won’t go roaming

In the heather on the hill.

And I get a warm feeling when I know that MTL is there. Soppy date!

Initially the walk is downhill through woods with a ‘tricky steep descent into Mansley Combe. Then a steep climb onto open moor land’ Going down hill is my nemesis as my toe nails come into close contact with my boots in spite of thick socks. We seemed to be endlessly stumbling down narrow rocky gunnels. I probably would have coped quite well but we had lots of streams to ford and on one of them I overbalanced on a loose rock and voila my feet were wet which did nothing to ease the friction.

When we got onto the open moor by Dunkery Beacon all discomfort was forgotten for there was the sight that everybody who lives in this area longs to see: a herd of our beautiful red deer – so shy you can live here for years and never see them. Mind you it was the rutting season and I had been demonstrating a stag’s rutting roar.

Then there were more narrow gullies and my toes were in acute discomfort. I looked across valley and could see the white church of Selworthy and sent up a silent prayer that my ordeal would soon be over. Soon I could see cars in the distance and declared that if that wasn’t our car park I was going to sit down and wait for them to finish the walk and pick me up. Happily it was our car park and MTL was there.

We drove over to Exford and had lunch at the White Horse feeling quite pleased with ourselves. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world in spite of the problem. Now we just have the final three miles which alas is down hill. I’ll have to think of some way to do it without further damage.

28 comments:

Z said...

You had been demonstrating a stag’s rutting roar? Pat, you are fabulous. I love you!

R. Sherman said...

Pack dry socks and duct tape the tootsies before a hike. Great stuff for hot spots and blisters.

Lovely photos, as always.

Cheers.

PI said...

Z: I think the does did also:)

Randall: I should have known that.

sablonneuse said...

When I read your first sentence I thought you meant 'run' in the jogging sense.

Joy T. said...

Sounds like a fabulous hike! I've enjoyed the pictures on your blog. I'm visiting from Michele's :o)

PI said...

Sablonneuse: Ha ha ha! My son does run but the delights of running have always escaped me.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

This sounds a good trip. Coleridge is a favourite poet of mine.

Michele sent me here.

craziequeen said...

Sounds a wonderful trip. I used to love exciting rambling like that - always hated such roaming across empty fields......

Michele sent me to see what you've been up to, Pat :-)

cq

f:lux said...

Could you do the last bit backwards - or would that be cheating?

PI said...

Hi CQ!

F:lux: that's lateral thinking at its best. I don't know why I didn't think of that. It's not ideal but far better than not completing the walk or crippling myself again.

kenju said...

Michele sent me back, Pat, and I am wondering what a stagg in rut sounds like....LOL

PI said...

Judy: it's a big lusty roar.

K Jones said...

Pi,
I am quite fascinated by your blog. I, too, am a hiker of sorts as my job is that of an archaeologist. I, however, never lose radio contact with anyone, LOL.

Btw, michele sent me today.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I love the quotation from BRIGADOON....it gave me such a feeling of 'the place', too,,,Along with your vivid descriptions....You are one brave soul, Pat! Congrats on this!

f:lux said...

*curtsies*

I look forward to seeing the finale in further sumptuous photos :)

Bubblehead said...

I am an avid backpacker and love to hike wherever I can. Been to the UK but never had time to hike around. Hope to go back soon and just take some time to see your beautiful country.

Here from Michele.

Leigh in Atlanta said...

yay for running.

Michele sent me to say hello.

PI said...

f:lux: hopefully next half term.

PI said...

Thank you Naomi: I love that song.

Bubblehead: yes you must come back and walk.

Leigh: you are the second person to misunderstand my first sentence. I was hiking - not running:)

FOUR DINNERS said...

I tend to roll downhill. Usually after copious amber nectars but it gets you there...

PI said...

4d: I was almost desperate enough to roll. How are you?

PI said...

Hi K Jones! That must make for very interesting walks.

Nikki-ann said...

Sounds like quite a walk! :)

I'm thinking of doing a 5 day walking holiday over the Ypres sailent in Belgium next year, which should be interesting.

Michele sent me and says "Hello!".

PI said...

nikki-ann: I'd love to do that- so much history. Say thank you to the brave men for me please.

deputyswife said...

Sounds like a wonderful walk!

Michele says hello!

PI said...

Hi Deputy's wife! Yes it was.

Carmi said...

Hi Pat. Dropping by from Michele's to let you know I think you paint the richest pictures with words when you share stories of your travels. I love following along, because I feel as if I'm witnessing it through your eyes.

Hope your toes have recovered!

PI said...

Carmi: lovely to see you. The toes are quite painless now thank you.