Today the weather has changed. It is clear, a bit breezy, and some dew to make the grass glisten in the sunshine. It is not expected to last, with another system due in tomorrow, so I have decided to take a walk.
The plan is to go to Chipping Campden, via Broad Campden -- a walk I have done before, although I will be taking another route, heading north via the High Street and mainly along the road to Broad Campden (about 3 miles). As I headed out of town, I saw the sign for the public footpath and decided that it would be much nicer than the road, so off I went. The footpaths in the fall (especially the minor ones) are slightly overgrown and harder to find, especially when they go THROUGH fields rather than along the borders. So I found myself backtracking a bit, but what the heck -- so I turn the 3-mile portion into 4 -- I have lots of time.
Then I got to the cow field. Now, I'm not usually anxious around cows. Not that I've been walking through that many cow fields, but I've just never thought of being nervous about them. More that you just have to watch where you're walking. But I have recently been made more aware of the dangers of walking around cows after Ali (a very knowledgeable and practiced Cotswolds walker) was head-butted (yes, you heard it right!) by a cow while walking out with her friend recently. And I seem to remember her talking about a field near Blockley where she was a bit wary -- and that was not even the 1 where she had her "incident"! So it was with some trepidation that I ventured into the field with the cows. The arrow on the fence indicated that I had to traverse the field, but I chose to go AROUND the cows, giving them a VERY wide berth.
And that's where my walk went "awry". 1st, it was that lovely dew on the ground. Since I wasn't keeping to the exact path, I ended up on a slope with some very slippery grass (at least it wasn't cow manure). All of a sudden my feet went from under me and I landed on my butt and slid down the rest of the hill. No real problem; nothing broken; slight tenderness on my right "cheek". But I think that I missed the "exit" from the field and ended up on the wrong path in the next field. But hey, I'm still in England, so how lost can I get! And I have my handy-dandy ordinance survey map to guide me. Well, let me tell you! When you are around Blockley, EVERYTHING is a part of Northwick Park --- and I mean on all sides. So a sign for "Northwick Park" will not help you to determine exactly where you are.
I didn't worry too much. At least I was out of the cow field, I have water and a banana (and some Tic Tacs if I get desperate). Unfortunately, a lot of the walk was in the trees, so I didn't get the benefit of the sunshine. But I was getting my exercise! So on I walked. And I walked. And I walked. I eventually heard the sounds of traffic -- just couldn't get there. It was after about 5 miles that I came out of the trees at the road. But which road? So I looked up. Well, wouldn't you know it, the clouds have come in, so I can't even use my Brownie skills to tell me what direction I am walking in. But I also know that it's only a couple of miles between villages (if that), so I keep on walking 1 more mile, go around a corner, and come to a village sign -- BLOCKLEY! So I have taken a 6-mile walk from Blockley to Blockley.
I decided that it deserved a ploughman's lunch at Murray's Deli and a latte. I made it back to Box just before the downpour.
I think I need a portable GPS ......