Ridgeway – Day 3 (Summary)


BRAVEST PERSON: Julian (for exceptional bravery with his foot). Special runner-up award has today gone to Julian (for exceptional bravery with his hayfever). Also worthy of mention are Julian (for exceptional bravery with his other foot), Bev (for bravery with her groin), Maggie (for bravery with her foot), Steve (for bravery with his hayfever) and Susanna (for bravery with her calves)

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “They look like Andrew’s balls” – Susanna  “A feel and a fondle and it all goes tits-up” – Dave  “It won’t reach over there, I assure you” – Steve  “My daughter made one of those out of mashed potato. No, hold on, I mean papier mache” – Bev  “I’m not having mine peeled back like that” – Gordon (first award ever for someone not actually on the walk)  “I’m now a vegetarian” – Andrew (second award for someone not actually on the walk”

Firstly, I’ll upload another three albums of photos from day 2 relatively soon (they’ll go further down the page, so you’ll need to scroll down below this post).

But, back to day 3. There are some days when someone stands out for their bravery. And I achieved that today. I’ve finished the day with a blister on my left foot, which I’m trying to treat with blister plasters. Hopefully I’ll be successful, but we’ll see tomorrow.

This morning five of us started at the Star Inn in Sparsholt, with a rather lovely breakfast. We mused and debated how long it would take to rejoin the path by walking there, and after much calculation we got a taxi. I’d stress that there’s no cheating here, we will walk every foot of the Ridgeway itself, but getting onto it can be done by whatever means we feel fit.

We didn’t initially tell Steve M and Maggie that we’d done that, as we wanted to look brave. I wasn’t too bothered by that, as I look brave anyway, but I let the others have a turn. Steve M started asking me a series of questions, and since I’m a dreadful liar, he soon found out that we had got a taxi. He didn’t tell Maggie, she remained in awe of us all day.

The walk in the morning was pleasant enough, I tried to set a pace to eat the miles up. However, the miles didn’t seem to be eating up, much to my annoyance. We reached a lunch stop and I ate my lunch, which didn’t take too long as I didn’t have one. Of significant interest to some of us, primarily Dave, Bev and myself, we watched some pigeons being set off on their first homing expedition. I videoed it, I’ll post it later. Steve M was quite blasé about it, he wasn’t going to demean himself by watching a load of pigeons.

We carried on walking and I carried on getting grumpier. I then realised that I was way under-resourced in terms of salt, and after much subtle hinting via Bev, some crisps were found for me. Thank you Steve and Maggie. That little bit of salt powered me through to the end, and I reached speeds of nearly 1.5mph at times.

We were all noticeably quieter today than on the first two days, as several of us felt that it was quite tough going. The ground is hard and a bit stony, and it’s difficult walking on that for long periods. Today was also hilly, but the scenery was beautiful. Was Bev quiet I hear you all cry. Well, yes, she was to a degree, which goes to show just how the group mood has shifted.

However, Dave and Steve M boosted our spirits with their energy and good health. Well, they didn’t boost mine, they bloody irritated me. I’d feel better about my hobbling about if they hobbled about too. So tomorrow I will sabotage their walk efforts so that they struggle. Because I’m like that…. Bev said she’d help. Because she’s like that too…

My feet were giving me some problems, but I’ve fixed the right foot, and I’ll work on the left foot as well to try and resolve that problem. Brave? Yes. To a ridiculous degree, and that was widely commented on.

Anyway, we nearly ran to the end point of the walk. By nearly ran, I mean hobbled. Some of the group were staying at the Bull in Streatley. Frankly, the less said about that place the better, so I won’t go there, either in this blog or in person. Instead I was at the Miller of Mansfield, which offered a friendly welcome. Unfortunately it didn’t have the bath that I was looking forwards to that was confirmed on the Expedia booking, but such is life, everything else was fine.

We then had a group meal at the Indian restaurant, having had to divert our plans from the Bull, and that was certainly large portions. We’d had rather a heavy night last night, so this one was much more refined and laid-back, and it was noted again by several people how brave I was being about my foot.

So, we’ve done three days out of six, and I’ve remembered how difficult this walking thing is. I’m certainly not doing the LDWA 100, and I’m going off doing a 50 to be honest. I’m wondering whether I should get into short distance walking. Maggie and Steve M have decided to walk much less than the rest of us, and I’m quite envious of their decision now.

So, what will happen on day four? I hope there are more quotes of the day than on day three, and there’s less pain. But, hurry back here to read the details of another traumatic day with Hike Norfolk.