Tuesday, 12 July 2016

The start of a new life

Life's going to become a bit odd now. Full time work has finished as of 30 June. What better way to start it than by a micro backpacking trip actually from my front door. Throwing a few things together, I headed for Salford and from there towards Little Compton. I joined the Macmillan Way towards Chastleton, spending a good couple of hours exploring field and woodland paths south of the village. All these so close to home but I'd never walked them. I just met a couple of dog walkers.

I went into Adlestrop where there was a water tap outside the village hall so I filled my water belt and headed off northwards along the Cotswold Diamond Way to find somewhere to camp.

I found a superb location. Particularly in the south of England, whilst it's not difficult to find places to wild camp, more and more, I'm tending to scout out wooded areas so as to be completely out of sight. Many of these woods are infested by nettles or brambles and so are unsuitable except maybe for use with a hammock. Others, though, are just great, as was the one I found on this occasion. There were no paths into the wood but I ducked through a small opening and found a sizeable area inside which had mainly leaves as ground cover and this was perfect. I pitched and cooked my dinner. I whiled away the evening reading. I was startled by the barking of a fox for a few minutes but then everything quietened down and I spent a peaceful night.

I was on my way by 7 o'clock next morning. No-one was about and I made my way into the idyllic village of Evenlode, a place not for the financially faint hearted.

I walked around the village and then took a bridleway across field edges towards Chastleton, there taking a bridleway over Chastleton Barrow, an iron age hill fort. I've lived nearby for over thirty years and never before visited it. I then made my leisurely way back home for lunch.

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