“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” said Tolkein. We didn’t actually get as far as Mordor, but the morning’s walk did extend a little. Just short of 14km, or eight and a half miles. We took a route over to North Nibley with a view to having a half-way pint there, On the way we passed a new solar farm by Swinhay House… I don’t know about you, but they look a lot less visually offensive than wind turbines. I don’t know of the lights will stay on, but renewables have to be a part of the solution, even as energy reduction has to be the core strategy.
So, onward to North Nibley past verges left fortuitously uncut; an effect of Austerity Britain that is showing a bonus in insect and bird life. Past the graveyard where someone was erecting a huge slate monolith memorial (much larger than we’d allow at Charfield, but impressive nonetheless) and to the pub… which was closed. Bum. Despite the sign next to the derelict telephone box (does anyone use them any more?) and it being well after eleven, the doors were open only for the catering van, all the way from local west Wales.
Nothing for it then, but to squish up the muddy hill to the top of the Westridge. Thirsty work, I’ll say no more. But if the pub had been open, we may not have climbed the hill, and would therefore have missed out on the quite splendid tree swing… and the equally marvellous view from the top of the Tyndale Monument – 121 steps up, 121 steps down, pound in the box by the door, thank you.
It was a shock, though, walking through the Westridge Woods, to find devastation to the southeastern edge. Presumably caused in the january storms, a long line of pine had gone over and lay there, blocking the footpath. Walking through the debris, one tree root caught my eye and I took him home for further work. Clearly the tree felt I hadn’t been polite enough in the asking and taking, and as I worked away with the tiny penknife blade, all I had, I went over backwards onto the lovely clay and leaf mould mud of the escarpment! Hey ho. Finally, into Wotton for that delayed pint and a very nice pint it was too.
All in all though, a grand day out for the price of a pint. Cheap living, can’t beat it. Probably just as well. And home in time for the rain to start. Result!