After a slow start this morning (due to spending too much time on the internet as per usual), Luke and I finally grabbed the new map and headed out on foot to explore and practice our navigation skills.
We walked through little copses and along quiet country roads. We saw a number of cute little rabbits but no pheasants. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned my favourite countryside game of pheasant spotting. Pretty much every time I’m in a car or on a train going through fields I’m looking for pheasants. Even though Andrew says they’re ‘dumb as a brick’ I think they’re extremely pretty – like birds of paradise, really. They also tend to stand in places where they’re easy to spot (as would I if I looked as good as them). Luke will tell you, should you ever ask, how ridiculously excited I get whenever I see one – and because I’m in a car or on a train there’s almost never time for anyone else to see them too so it’s also like they’re my secret. Which is all beside the point because I didn’t see any today. Boo.
We initially headed for a nearby village called Dry Drayton but there was nowhere to get lunch so we headed to the next village, where the pub wasn’t serving meals and didn’t even have packets of chips for sale (criminal!) but the guy behind the bar gave us instructions to get to a shop half an hour away. So we walked. And walked. And walked and came across one of those stretches of road that goes on forever, has no footpaths and lots of traffic. We continued along for a while, alternately stepping in mud and almost being knocked into a ditch, before getting quite cranky. At that point, fortunately, we spotted a path that went off between some fields and was signposted as ‘Cambridge 3 miles’.
After a short stretch in which we were encouraged by the signage to stay on the path rather than get shot into a million pieces due to the paddocks on either side being a military firing range (and we could hear them firing), we came across the charming village of Coton. We stopped at the pub and ate some generous tapas portions before heading on to Cambridge and then catching the bus back to Bar Hill.
A not-too-shabby 17kms in total. It felt really, really good to walk a decent distance for the first time this trip.
Several lessons were learned today.
Firstly, pack food and water. Feeling compelled to buy whatever is on offer simply because there are no other options is less than ideal.
Secondly, stay on the map. When we took the directions from the guy at the pub they led us off the map and we both felt more anxious.
Thirdly, plan ahead if deciding to stop for a break – make sure the place will be open and serving food if that is what is planned.
Lastly, get off our lazy butts and leave the house before lunchtime. I used to get up before 6am to go walking… what’s happened to me?!