Monday, 9 September 2013

Backpackers Cambridgeshire weekend

A select few (seven) of us gathered behind the Pike & Eel at Needingworth, just outside St. Ives. The weather was set fair and the rain earlier cleared during the afternoon. This may be my tarp's last outing this year. Now, here's a statistic. Usually on these weekends, there is the odd female contingent. This time, 28% were female (accompanying male attendees).

I'd planned a good leg stretch for Saturday and it looked as if I'd be on my own. Howard had to nip home to feed his ferrets and the others were planning something less strenuous. I was up early and was away at 6.45am, heading up the Ouse Valley Way for a mile or so before veering off to go through Bluntisham. I'd vaguely heard of this route but had no idea it was so long. It's 150 miles and starts in Syresham, Northants. At Bluntisham, I joined the Pathfinder Long Distance Walk, another one I didn't know. It's a 46 mile route starting and finishing at nearby RAF Wyton.

Other places I passed through were Somersham, Warboys and King's Ripton, all three quite picturesque and I'd happily have stayed longer given time. Just after Kings Ripton, walking along a green lane, I turned a corner and spied a young fox about 100 yards ahead. I stopped dead and, although it saw me, the fact that I wasn't moving perhaps didn't put him on his guard. I slowly brought my camera up and was standing still for about five minutes while this young fox faffed about in front of me. He was watching me, then he had a quick poo and then walked towards me a little way. In the end, I got bored and moved towards him, whereupon he legged it.

Then it was through Houghton and St. Ives. I really like St. Ives. The weather helped but it had a summery feel to it. Walking along the only street of Holywell, I couldn't resist taking a photo of a house for sale, a bit of a wreck and painted purple. I'll revisit perhaps in a couple of years to see what changes have been made.

From Holywell, I joined the Ouse Valley Way again, back to base. This was a really good day - 22 miles walked.

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