Monday, 15 September 2008

Weddings and Wimbledon- Fenny Bentley to Uttoxeter

Well, that was a welcome reprieve! Thanks to Jane. It was interesting to read someone else's "blog" and saved me two days of "What do I write now?" moments.

I have to say it was quite exciting waiting for Sheila to alight from the bus in Ashbourne, as this was the first time someone on this trip had come out to join me en route. We celebrated the prospect of three days walking together with a nightcap in the pub. Sheila fighting fit, and fully equipped with the pedometer, was rearing to go. Yes, today had been a great day of sunshine and easy walking along the "Tissington Trail" the B & B in the delightful village of Fenny Bentley was luxurious. Things could only get better.
Or maybe not. The next morning dawned with drizzly rain as we set off along the last stretch of the "Tissington Trail" towards Ashbourne. Circumnavigating Ashbourne, by the third "I think we've been down this road before" experiences, we were confidently giving directions to the locals, never mind the passing tourists looking for Uttoxeter race course.
Sticking to the minor roads was easy, but looking for the ever elusive "Limestone Way" was a tricky business. Ploughing through the undergrowth and a nasty patch of nettles, we somehow stumbled, albeit briefly, upon the "Staffordshire Way"
Fed up with all this "which way" confusion, we decided the best option was to find a road, any road, that would take us to Uttoxeter- our destination. Happening across a farmhouse, in the middle of nowhere, we knocked on the door. It looked like no-one was home, until through a window we saw this old crone in nylon overalls, circa 1950's, (the overalls, not the crone) of about 104 heaving herself out of her chair. Three years later she eventually managed to open the door. Now, we didn't quite get what she croaked in answer to "Where is Uttoxeter?" but she pointed wildly in a southerly direction, and that was good enough for us. Where there's a farm, there has to be a road. Unfortunately it was the A515 into town. And even when we got there, the next problem was how to get to Penkridge? The bus driver at the bus station obviously hadn't chosen local Geography GCSE, as he hadn't a clue, but fortunately a passenger on the bus had. According to her, if we got a bus to Stafford, we could then get a train to Penkridge. But not before we had to kill time waiting for the bus in the greasiest of spoon cafe's where, lingering over a stewed cup of tea, we had time to admire how the proprietess dealt swiftly and efficiently with the local "Riff Raff" Any attempt by them to loiter in the caf and they were sharply booted out.
And so it was after a long, long, day we finally arrived at the "Quality Inn" in the middle of a wedding reception. Too tired to venture further than the bar, we joined the wake of the wedding party and the bar staff around the TV watching Wimbledon Highlights. The highlight of our day was a pedometer reading of 20 miles walked. 2,800 calories used which = eat, drink and be merry-Hurrah!