million steps – day five – and hubby came too

Today we decided to do a walk together, my hubby and I.  He is a lovely bloke, enjoys being outdoors and spending time with me, his rapidly becoming obsessed wife, so it was all good.  We live in the middle of beautiful walking country, but I have a pathological fear of cows, which limits the across the field walking we might to be able to do otherwise.  I know, you are going to say cows are fine.  They are not.  Did you know cows kill on average three people a year!!  I am not taking any chances, cows and me don’t mix.

Anyway walking avoiding cows means sticking to bridle paths and tow paths and public roads, which is fine most of the time.  Today we picked a new bridle path south of where we live and looking at the map for at least five minutes, we decided on a route. Off we went, the wind was whipping around and the sun chose that moment to hide behind cloud. No matter, we were there to walk and walk we did.  After a few miles on the path we are both starting to feel a bit bored, the scenery is gorgeous but unchanging, we were also wondering if we could find a cafe and a nice cuppa tea.

We know this area quite well, have often driven around the roads surrounding the bridle path and we know there is a lovely village not far away.  We leave the bridle path and make our way on the road towards the cafe.  Hubby reckons it is a half mile or so down the road, so we continue walking in hope.  After a good while it is becoming obvious that the village has either moved or we have misjudged the distance.  No matter we have come too far to turn back.  The road is quite busy and has no footpath so we cling to the hedges as tractors and farm trucks vie with cars and vans to avoid us.  By now I am feeling fed up.  Why am I doing this, how long do we need to walk?  We start discussing getting back, being clear that every step forward will also have to be repeated in reverse eventually.  Perhaps we could get a taxi back, or maybe a bus??

At the point I was thinking of just sitting down and waiting for something to happen, we spot a road sign, the number thirty in a red circle indicated the village actually is, this time, just around the corner.  We pick up pace and are soon settled in a comfy cafe, tea and crumpets in front of us.  How quickly we have forgotten our weary walking.  How happy we are to be at our destination at last.  We both understand, without discussion that there will be no taxi or bus, we can do this, we can walk back up the scary road and back to the bridle way.  So that is what we do.

It is clear that walking back is so much easier and quicker than the route forwards.  In no time we have galloped up the road, without incident, save for the moment when a huge red tractor seemed to be heading straight for me.  I did the whole scene in my head, ‘the young man driving had clearly been told by his wicked step father that the farm was being sold to a neighbour and there was not a place for him in what had been his home.  He storms out angrily stealing the tractor and heads off down the road in a temper.  He has headphones on and is not expecting pedestrians.  I am doomed’. Actually none of that happened he merrily waved as he passed by safely.  Hubby said I read too many books, my imagination is working overtime. I say imagination is a good thing, so is reading books.

Safely back on the bridleway we only have to contend with cyclists who luckily use the tring tring of their bells to warn us they are approaching.  By now the sun is warm, the wind has dropped and we are savouring being in the midst of such wonderful countryside. I stop to photograph calves with their mothers, the black and white patterns  across their backs are in stark contrast to the green grass all around.  The dales rising in the distance, it was a timeless picture.

Soon the car park is in sight and we are at the end of our adventure.  Legs are aching but hearts are happy.  We head for home.  Tonight I asked hubby if he would do it all again,  he said he would but not every day.  Together with my morning walk I have done over twelve miles today, the most I have done in a day so far.  This walking thing is ever more addictive.

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