I Walk Alone

Today, I went out and met up with the walking group for a ten-mile hike around the Cotswold hills of South Gloucestershire. Getting up and getting going was far from easy, even though I woke up in plenty of time. I was aiming to leave the house at 9.15am and to arrive at the meeting point early, with time to spare. But, it was already 9.30am by the time I accelerated away from the drive and I, quite literally, arrived at the meeting point bang on time, making a flamboyant, fast-paced 180° turn in to a vacant parking space!

Coaley Peak.

Coaley Peak (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have a confession to make before we go any further… Despite walking for more than three hours today, with clear views towards the Severn Estuary and plenty of trees within the local woodland, I neglected to take even a single photograph! So, for the purpose of making this post more enjoyable, I’m going to have to use images from other sources, respectfully paying credit where it’s due.

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Friends

What a good day I’ve had! 🙂

Until late last night, I was anticipating another ‘lonely’ day of walking around and exploring the local countryside with nothing more than my own company. But, after a late-night Facebook conversation, it became clear that my closest friend was keen to see me and for us to get out and do something together. We each had ideas of our own and would wait until the morning before making any decisions.

I was delighted to receive a text from her before I had a chance send one myself. Working spontaneously like that can actually be a good thing. From my own experiences, I can relate to how planning too much too far ahead can lead to anxious thoughts and feelings leading up to the event. That’s partly why I ‘failed’ to make arrive in time for my group walk yesterday.

Ashton Court Mansion

Today though, we were able to arrange a meeting place and later destination within a short space of time.

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Going East (Slightly)

I may have suffered some anxiety and disappointment issues earlier today when I missed the group walk but, as I said I would, I made it out on my own a little bit later, on another chapter in my adventure across the Mendip Hills.

East Harptree Wood and Smitham Chimney

Today, it was off towards the village of East Harptree for a four-mile trek through the local woodland and combe. You may remember that I went to West Harptree a few weeks ago, which is closer to Chew Valley Lake.

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After Lunch

After climbing and crossing the hills of Draycott in the morning, I headed north-west(-ish) to the village of Winscombe in North Somerset. I did briefly pass through King’s Wood a few months ago, on my way up to Crook Peak. This prevented me with another car parking nightmare, as the space provided (free of charge) by The National Trust was packed upon my arrival! I guess everyone else had the same kind of idea, on a day where rain wasn’t due to fall until, erm, just before I returned to my van at the end of the walk!

King's Wood - Winscombe

King’s Wood – Winscombe

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A Sleightly Better Day

Today was a better one for walking. It did rain overnight but, the frost had sent in to ensure that the ground wasn’t too soft when I arrived in Draycott. I did drive up and down the village once, hoping to park near the church that I’d also spotted on Google Streetview but, wouldn’t you know it, that road was closed off! Access was still permissible but, being a Sunday and all, I didn’t want to risk causing an obstruction of any kind. So, I parked back up by the school I think I mentioned yesterday. There are no gates on the premises and, as it turned out, the car park was busy as there was another church right next door.

Draycott Sleights

Draycott Sleights

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Sand Point

Yeah, I’m struggling to come up with an original title for this one so, I’m just going to tell it as it is! 😉

This was something I did yesterday afternoon, as I finish work around lunchtime on a Friday. It’s not far from Brean Down (north along the coast), where I went about two months ago. As I mentioned with my most recent poem, I was also intending to do two walks today… I got up early enough, showered, put on clean clothes, made my lunch and got all my stuff together… Everything was planned, until I arrived to park at my first destination in Blagdon, only to find that the free car park was full! I drove around for a bit but, it’s such a confined village with so many narrow roads that I wasn’t sure of where else to rest my car. Perhaps I’ll see the lake on another day.

Sand Point from Sand Bay

Sand Point from Sand Bay

Failing that, I decided to head on towards what would’ve been my second destination; thinking that I could do the day in reverse. Instead of returning down the road I knew, I decided to ‘improvise’ by following my own senses towards the village of Draycott, located north of the city of Wells, just outside of Cheddar. According to Google Street View (“Google Godsend“, as I prefer to call it! ;-)), there was a pub close to the start point where I could park. I drove straight through the village once, believing I must’ve missed it. On my return drive through (as the fuel warning light came on), I realised that the car park was sealed off beside what appeared to now be a house!

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There was a school nearby with two cars resting but, I wasn’t sure if it would be right to park there or not… There is actually another pub further down past the-one-that-isn’t-anymore. If the rain holds off and I decide to try again tomorrow morning then, that is probably where I’ll park. No suggestions for car-parking were provided with this route.

Sand Bay to Weston-super-Mare

Sand Bay to Weston-super-Mare

Now, let’s return to the sea of yesterday…

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Court in the Moment

My week started with a whole two-days off of work and, rather sadly, no plans to do anything in particular or to see anyone socially (which hurt twice as much, following the disappointment of Saturday). For both days, the weather forecast was, to say the least, a little worse than what we could’ve hoped for and the severe flooding that we’ve suffered in the days since is evidence of that. Upon waking up, Monday didn’t look too bad. If there were rain clouds in the sky, they didn’t look ready to burst for a few hours. I was looking to escape outdoors somewhere with my camera but, I also said I would take the time to drop my sister off at her volunteering job and pick her up again after lunch. She usually walks there but, she had some trouble with her shoes recently and so, if we were to account for thirty-minutes of driving in each direction, that would’ve left me with no more than one-hour to spend with my camera (not nearly enough time).

Oldbury Court Estate, Bristol

So, I moped around in my bed for much of the day and postponed my adventure until Tuesday, when I awoke to the sight of rain falling heavily from the dark clouds above. It wasn’t letting up but then, I was very bored and fed up of being stuck indoors. My boots were still in the van from Sunday’s walk and I felt as though they could do with a wash so, I donned my waterproofs and off I went to the Oldbury Court Estate in Bristol.

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