This walk was socially distanced….. And is the first walk in preparation for the 2021 LDWA 100. But isn’t an LDWA walk in itself, because these have all been suspended until the troubles are over.
WALK NUMBER: 1 (Norwich to Caistor St. Edmunds)
DISTANCE COVERED: 12 miles
NUMBER OF NATHAN’S FRIENDS WE “ACCIDENTALLY” BUMP INTO: 1
SUFFICIENT BEER CONSUMED: Yes
PUBS VISITED: 1 (Artichoke, Norwich, for takeaway beer)
WEATHER CONDITIONS: Sunny (until it got dark, when it wasn’t sunny)
ATTACKED BY ANIMALS: No
NUMBER OF SNAKES SEEN: 0
So, with just about 12 months to go, Nathan and I have managed to begin walk training in a limited manner given the current restrictions on life. Armed with beer, and a desire not to sit in a city-centre park looking like two alcoholics, we headed to the outskirts of Norwich to a socially distanced bench I saw earlier in the week.
This giant cow thing was fortunately safely distanced from us by a barbed-wire fence. I suspect that it might have charged us otherwise, you can see it getting ready to attack.
Our walk went through near Trowse to Arminghall Henge, where we tried to interpret the lumps in the ground of this important heritage site whilst realising I’ve forgotten all the knowledge that I once had about it. Although, I have to confess, I was hardly Mick Aston even at my most well-read on the site.
From then, we diverted into Arminghall to look at some history (which I had mostly forgotten) and then went to connect back into the Boudicca Way. Now, due to circumstances entirely out of my control, I got lost. This was caused by a man and his two sons (I assume they were his two sons, although it doesn’t really much matter) who politely said hello. I turned off the path as I thought that was the turning I wanted, but it wasn’t. As I’m British and incapable of doing anything like going back, we ploughed off the wrong way so the man didn’t think we were idiots.
Which meant we never found the socially distanced bench I wanted, but that was fine, we had a spirit of exploration and all that. I heard a little bit of polite muttering from Nathan that he was carrying all this heavy beer and wondering when we would be drinking it. However, after getting marginally lost twice more, we reached a safe destination soon enough. Actually, I did wonder why he didn’t question why he was carrying all the beer. But I digress.
Drinking in a field, although I admit that there are likely much classier locations. Anyway, it didn’t rain and there were no wild animals roaming, so it sufficed. Fortunately, I keep plastic cups and KFC cups in permanent stock, so we had the appropriate drinking vessels. The beer was acquired from the Artichoke, which I still think has the best selection of craft beers in Norwich and they haven’t been lowering their standards during the current times.
Back to our selection, I will confess, beer poured into milk cartons doesn’t look good. But, it was the rather lovely Dumbo the Elephant from Three Hills Brewing, and thanks to the brewery for toasting my Untapped ‘review’ within a few minutes.
Beer. The one on the right is Neopolitan Ice Cream and 7.2% and my highly developed palate (well, that’s what I call it) managed to miss most of the flavours until Nathan mentioned what they actually were. I have discovered that I really need a chicken bake to help absorb the flavours to help me recognise them. Not long now though before that treat comes back into my life.
At this point, it transpired that Nathan had paid someone from where he works to randomly walk by us and tell me how good Nathan is at his job. He must think I’m an idiot if he thinks that this is some event that naturally took place without being staged. Anyway, I pretended I believed him.
I’m not really a tree expert, but I’m prepared to say with some considerable confidence that I think this tree is dead.
Since my last visit to Caistor St. Edmund I had downloaded the official app to the site, which has an augmented reality (AR) option to overlay what the Roman town might once have looked like. The AR implementation wasn’t perfect, but it was still useful and this is a screenshot of what I could see.
Photos of Caistor St. Edmund, around two thousand years ago, there would have been a town in the above locations.
I got very close to this sheep (within around 30 feet), which was enormously brave, to take this photo. I was quite pleased with the sheep in this field, they kept their distance and none of them attempted to attack me. Although, I was trying to look quite rugged, so that might have frightened them.
Even the big hole they’re digging, which I assume is a quarry rather than someone paying for a huge hole, looks moderately beautiful.
Now, those people who are quite good at noticing things might wonder why we’re walking in the near dark. This was a mistake, caused by misjudging how long we’d be drinking beer for. I think we allocated around 20 minutes for this, but miscalculated slightly and spent three hours on a bench. But, there’s no point ruining a good walk by not spending enough time drinking beer, so on reflection, we did the right thing.
So, that’s the first walk over, a relatively short distance, we’ll be doing a longer distance over the next few days. Frankly, we’re currently very confident about the LDWA 100 next year, as what could possibly go wrong?