After deciding to embark on a short stroll to fully appreciate the view, my Other Half and I set out with our grandson, and committed the many cardinal sins associated with that of the amateur rambler:
- Failed to map out a route.
- Improperly dressed i.e. inappropriate footwear, no provision for change of weather, no sunscreen for skin protection on one of the hottest days of the year, so far… I could go on.
- No phone to check whereabouts.
- No water or food to sustain us, if needed.
- Failed to advise anybody of our intended journey, or whereabouts.
- Only paid for three hours in the car park.
Now you might think, but it’s a short walk, not a trek around Outer Mongolia, but believe me it might just as well have been for the anguish it generated.
We traversed up hill and down dale, encountering viaducts, bridges, streams, waterfalls, geese… and a good time was had by all. This came to an abrupt end when we reached an unrecognisable road after walking for what seemed like hours (I may be embellishing somewhat), and our feet were blistered and aching.
It was then that Ben, our four year old grandson, refused to trek any further, pleading to be reunited with his mummy whom he was missing beyond measure. (I might add that this longing partially abated the moment he boarded the bus, and fully dissipated the moment he happened upon a bookshop with the promise of a sticker book for being such ‘a good boy’.)
The bus driver who, incidentally, had failed to don his mask and left his swag bag at home that day, charged us over £7 for the privilege of a ten minute bus ride. I think it was just his way of making us pay for having him stop in the back of beyond to collect a fare, causing him to be two minutes late home for his tea.
So in light of all of these things, I have sworn that should the urge to ramble ever take my fancy again, I shall resist it unless I am fully equipped with Berghaus hiking boots, waterproof Calisto jacket and over-trousers; a rucksack containing tent, sleeping bag, camping stove, tinned supplies, Kendal mint cake, bottles of water, matches, map, compass, change of clothes, crampons, strider pole, flares… and a good book.
I’ll just go to the pub, instead.
Image credit: Eddie O’Neill