It was a another solo day today. My start was along this path with a stream running beside it, and there was an extra skip to my shoes with the news that the walk has raised over £800.
Thank you from every blister and each aching leg. So fantastic! And thanks for the messages.
Another treat for today was that there was only one significant climb, with a few occasional uphills. Most of the day seemed to be walking through farms, either skirting cattle or crops, or strolling down meadows, plus one stretch of road through a tree felling operation.
Sometimes roads such as this replaced paths.
Other times undergrowth ate the paths.
Occasionally there were tunnels that widened into paths.
And every so often there were steps. There are always steps.
And in between it was out in the open again, walking along hillsides with views over hedgerowed fields.
So, today as I walked, with no steep climbs to burst my lungs, there was plenty of time to think about walking.
First, about the pleasure of being able to walk in weather like this, along a network of footpaths that gives access to so much greenery, and to so many welcomes in the different villages along the way. It is a special experience, and a very English one right now without the tourists.
Second, there was the odd minute or two thinking about sore feet, and about Tom and Jane Benyon who walk every year to raise money for their charity ZANE, which helps Zimbabweans in need of support. They have walked hundreds of miles around England, usually for two weeks at a time each summer, and much of it along hot pavements or tarmac. My feet are in awe of their feet, and their stamina. Not to mention the amount they have raised, and the good they have done with it.
Third, and most important to this walk, there was time to remember the lovely Spanish stroll I did with school friends, and Katrina, in Spain 2018. It was such an easy going week of chatting and laughter, of getting lost and getting there. And, most important, of just loving being there.
And that was the day … plus occasional chats with occasional fellow hikers. There were not many.
Here, for anyone interested, is my backpack. On solo days I am the porter.
And, for anyone who might not know, this is what a stinging nettle looks like.
And, finally, here to end is a church. This walk leads through many churchyards, and from almost every ridge it is possible to see at least two or three, or even more, steeples and cathedrals.
PS I only had to walk down that hill.
Thanks for reading – tomorrow is day 9.
Copyright Georgie Knaggs & The Phraser 2021