Date: 15 & 16 June 2019
Walked: 17 miles
My walks are increasingly long-distance, solitary affairs; I meet people along the way but often head off alone, eating up the miles in a quasi-meditative state.
Not this weekend – this was all about walking adventures at a different pace, where time (well spent) was all about reconnecting with friends. Our group of seven hired a lovely cottage on the Dorset / Wiltshire border for a weekend of catching up over walks, food, drink and – unplanned bonuses – giant Jenga and an enticing trampoline in the garden. Turns out (in the case of the latter activity) that I have quite a talent for landing on my arse but springing immediately to my feet again. And then repeating the move infinitum… art imitating life, etc, etc…
We strolled out on both days from the cottage, and took ourselves off on explorations of the nearby footpaths via routes planned off-the-cuff and on our mapping apps. That meant a few very overgrown footpaths, where, on the Saturday, the wet vegetation transformed walking trousers into sodden conduits perfect for dripping water directly into what would otherwise have been dry walking boots. But it also led to turning a hedge-rowed corner to encounter the biggest field of poppies I’ve ever seen, some fine views, and overheard conversations about the proximity of Guy Richie’s house to one quintessentially English village pub we stopped at for a restorative drink.
I wouldn’t normally blog about such a lovely weekend with friends – it doesn’t really feel challenging enough to warrant a post. But the field of poppies was so spectacular, the red so vivid, that I had to share some photos. And I learnt (or perhaps remembered) that hikes don’t have to be hardcore to be worthwhile.