I manfully strode out into the heat of the day, delighted that Ian had introduced me to the replenishing power of, dissolve in your water, hydration tablets.
Today though it was very hot. I try to make sure I carry 6 litres of fluid with me when I embark on a days ramble – but even that wasn’t cutting it.
2 hours walking – 4 litres of fluid gone. As I sat in the shade of a bridge I realised that walking in this heat was just plain silly.
By happy coincidence I realised I was sitting next to a campsite.
Without much further thought I was booking myself in…
‘That’s £7 please…’
I told the campsite owner what I was about, handing him one of my none business cards.
‘That’ll be £7 please…’
Who was I to feel grouchy at being charged? This man had a business to run and, in these times of austerity, £7 is £7.
He showed me to shady spot and in no time I was planning on how I could beat tomorrow’s heat.
If I got up just before sunrise, I’d be able to walk before the temperature rose to the unwalkable again.
Waking up at 4.30 the next morning though, I wasn’t prepared for the still beauty of the world…
Even the birds hadn’t quite got round to singing – but by the time I’d packed my tent away, they were in full chorus.
It was great to feel cool, perhaps even a bit chilly, as I walked back along the canal, peeling off at last for the road that would ultimately take me to Blackpool.
The land in these here parts is flat – very flat – in a world where I thought East Anglia had the monopoly on vast expanses of landscape without contour in the UK I’m constantly surprised even when I’m smacked between the eyes with it.
It’s great for walking on.
As sure as eggs is/ are/ were eggs, the sun rose in the sky, although it lacked some of yesterdays ferocity.
No matter, I’d soon be stumbling into another campsite, crawling under my man made rock…
However, time and again I came across places declaring themselves as campsites but didn’t allow tents.
Call me old fashioned, but I’d always seen camping as pretty much synonymous with tenting.
Not to worry though, it wasn’t as hot as yesterday, and with each campsite that didn’t allow er, camping, I was getting ever closer to Blackpool.
A young guy of about 12 passed me on one of the cycle paths – he had a cheery, friendly air to him as he excused his way around me.
About a mile further on I met him again, he had the demeanour of an outdoorsy type, so I asked him if he knew of anywhere to camp nearby.
He thought a while – he couldn’t think of anywhere, ‘There are some fields round here though…’ then, after a bit more thought he said, ‘Do you have Internet on your phone?’
When I said, ‘Yes,’ he said, ‘You could try looking there..’
‘Yes, I could…’ I nodded sagely.
On reflection I wondered if I’d been the victim of ageism? The funny bald man in a skirt didn’t have the wherewithal to use the interweb to find somewhere to lay my head.
Or perhaps the victim of someone trying to help – which was far more likely.
Of course I found somewhere to camp – High Bank farm campsite – instead of accepting payment for our pitch (our ? Me and Derek – he was arriving a bit later) tents the owner’s donating the £11 to the virgin money giving page here
Bless his socks.
Another great day – wonderful scenery – lovely people – yeah, ok, I’d rambled a little further than I’d planned – had I mentioned it was hot? But how good is this? Aren’t folk just the bees whiskers?
Walk a mile