day two was a long tough day of hiking. we did 12.5 miles today.
when i say we, i mean our thirteen person group. included in the group is my lifelong friend Clipper Kniffin. i would be remiss if i did not get his mug in front of you.
let me just say that rooming with Clipper every night is quite an experience. more about Clipper in future blogs.
we are traversing individual farms and countrysides. England has a policy that, after much debate about the merits, rights and benefits of private landowners and public recreation, legislated a limited right to roam, without compensation for landowners. The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (CROW) was gradually implemented giving the general public the conditional right to walk in certain areas of the English countryside: principally moorland, heathland, agricultural and coastal land.
we are as a result getting to meet up close and personal alot of the farm animals. we have crossed many fields strewn with sheep. others that are populated with cows and bulls. a few fields with horses. and a few with goats. no problems with any of these with the exception of the bulls.
they get our attention. we try to not wear red. we try to not look them in the eye, and we hope they get interested in a cow rather than us. but they surely get our undivided attention when we are in any sort of close proximity to them.
the biggest challenge with crossing these fields is watching where you walk so that you avoid the dung that seems to be everywhere. another challenge is getting into and out of each individual field, which often involves scaling a fence or wall.
the final challenge is way finding. knowing where the route is, where the path goes. it is not always obvious.
the thing that has surprised us all the most so far is the expanse and the beauty of the English countryside in this part of England, the least visited part of England.
some of you have asked where are we sleeping and eating. we are staying in local pubs/tiny hotels/airbnbs/guest houses. these are not like hotels or motels that we have in America. rarely are they large enough to house all of us. so, some of us stay in one spot, and the rest stay in another. we usually have dinner together in the same location, but the size of our group is a challenge for the establishment no doubt.
tomorrow’s hike will be longer than today’s!