Sunday, 16 May 2010
Messing about on the river
In the interest of actually being able to drag myself up a mountain, I thought I'd better do some proper distance walking. My other half diligently got out the OS (previous map reading, when left to me, has not had the desired outcome) and plotted a nice walk along the Basingstoke canal. Since I've had achy joints the last week or so - I wasn't joking when I said in an earlier post that I have the knees of a 90 year old - we thought a canal walk would be sensible since it would be nice and flat and so wouldn't put to much stain on my poor knees (and lately, just for some variety, my ankles).
We parked one car at Odiham and then drove up to Fleet in the second car, with the small, furry beastie on board and off we went. The route was about 10 miles, which would push me and also wear the dog out. It was an absolutely glorious walk. Lovely sun shine, people messing about in canoes on the canal, or having picnics on the grassy verges. There are some stunning properties along side the canal bank and I love a good nose so there was plenty to keep us occupied on our little trek. What a lot of bugs there were though! I'm not really good with flying things. They tend to make me have weird impulse spasms as soon as I hear anything buzzing anywhere near me, especially when they get tangled up in my hair - yeulch!! So there we were, walking along the canal on a beautiful, English spring day with me doing what would look from a distance, like a jumpy, out of time dance as I swot flies and a variety of flying insects away from me. Goodness only knows what I'll be like in Africa - Justine thinks it's hilarious that I'm so rubbish at being out doors, but since her only pre-condition to climbing Kili with me was that I didn't snore (we'll be sharing a tent) she seems to think she can live with some of my more ridiculous qwerks!
There's lots to see along the canal, it was built around the 1790's and has some lovely old bridges over it. The stetch that we walked along has many war defences to stop German tanks during WWII, it would seem that Basingstoke was the place to get to for the 3rd Reich so needed a pill box every 10 feet and lots of dragons teeth (anti tank lumps of concrete to the uninitiated). Further along, past Odiham is King Johns Castle, which is an ancient relic, apparently there are 2 other castles in the area, but I haven't spotted them yet.
We've received lots more donations for the next car boot, which will be next weekend, so hopefully that'll add to our total.
I'm off to put my slightly achy feet up now. I'm not nearly as sore as I thought I was going to be and managed to complete the 10 miles without a total sense of humour failure, which is an improvement for me! The dog, however, is still pooped and refuses to move off the sofa!