Friday, July 16, 2010
Day 63. The Impassable Dream
I forgot to mention that yesterday I covered 29 kms, which took the VBW total to 1685.5 kms.
This morning I left the home of Big Tone and Mu in Congleton, where we had spent a very convivial afternoon and evening, a’reminiscin’ and a’chawin’. The road to Wilmslow from Congleton is the very busy A34, much of it without pavements, and lots of bends – in other words, good Vic-killing territory. It seemed a bit early to terminate VBW in that way, so my navigation officer planned a route to the west of the A34, necessarily a bit longer, but with the priority on safety. Side roads and walking paths. Gay’s planning was great, the roads were quiet and safe. But it seemed that nobody else had ever spotted the paths on the map. Certainly nobody had ever walked them. There was no worn bit on the ground, the grass was long and, because of the rain which became heavy, extremely wet, as were my shoes and socks very quickly. Many of the farm gates were locked, even when accompanied by a signpost clearly saying a footpath went through them. And in many places, the “path” was completely overgrown by nettles and brambles, as in the picture. No sooner had the rash on my legs subsided, than I was into another lot of nettles and another rash.
When I neared Alderley Edge, I discovered that an Alderley Edge bypass is under construction, which is good, it is badly needed. But it was not good for my walk because it meant I had to retrace my steps and find another way around. This added a few kilometres. When I finally reached Alderley Edge and Costa’s, for a much needed coffee, I found myself sitting next to a couple who live four doors away from my former home in Dean Drive, the address to which I was headed in order to take a photograph.
When I reached the Bluebell BMW salesroom, I called in to see if an old friend still worked there. As I entered the portals, my phone rang for a newspaper interview. Eventually I found that the friend was still with the company, in a senior capacity, but not in that building.
I pressed on into Dean Drive to take a photo of my old house. There was a car outside so I thought I had better warn the owner that I would be taking a picture, and not for nefarious purposes. He was really friendly and interested in what I was doing, happy to show me round the house. But by then I was well behind schedule, aware that Gay had been waiting for ages and that she had eaten no lunch.
So I met her at the garden centre, then we hot-footed it to Altrincham and the home of our old friends Jean and Bernard Dolan, where we are to spend the night.
And now I find there is no photo of the house in my camera! So I may have to do Vic’s Big Walk all over again.
While I ponder that one, I will tell you that today I walked 31.5 kms, for a total of 1717 kms.