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Saturday, 23 May 2015

Stamford to Manton (south of Rutland Lake)

Day 4 - Saturday 23rd May

I had an interesting breakfast this morning with Fay's husband at the Dolphin Guest House. He has perhaps the most niche business I have come across: restoring vintage aircraft instruments. We chatted about Sptfires, Tiger Moths and others, and the demanding nature of his clients concerning accuracy and authenticity.

We also discovered that they know Dr. Ruth Livingstone, my fellow blogger Coastal Walker. Ruth had invited me to pop in whilst in Stamford but she has gone back to Wales to continue her journey round the coast. Having set off from Norfolk she is now somewhere in the Gower (clockwise) so she is doing jolly well.

"Calloo callaiy oh framiousj day" i am so happy. Those b. Scarpas made me think there was something wrong with my feet and that walking may be over forever - I had suffered horrible pain on the soles of my feet for three days. The new, cheapo Mountain Warehouse trekking shoes are like having a Saville Row suit, or the difference between riding a bike over cobbles and then on smooth Tarmac. I just can't say how much is the improvement.

More varied walking and so much more enjoyable with comfortable feet.

I felt fit and walked well, albeit much slower than I have in the past. That is a mystery to me because in the populated Rutland area I thought I was marching (not walking) quickly, but then young couples, holding hands, and just sauntering were coming past me. I met and chatted briefly with a number of people today, and at more length with two young ladies on the shore of Rutland Water. They were from Serbia, but arrived sixteen years ago at the age of fifteen. The talkative one had taken various college qualifications and was now fully employed in the travel business;as we talked there was an outdoor wedding taking place on the grassy shoreline all open to public display with some audience participation from passers-by. Up till now I have seen few people walking on my path, but Rutland Water was heaving this bank holiday Saturday.

Earlier I passed through the massive Ketton limestone quarry which fed the equally massive Ketton cement works. The quarry appears not to be in use. I was looking down over a huge area of ponds, hillocks of earth and walls of limestone, apparently being rapidly taken over by nature. There were Shelduck , and Canada Geese with young on the water, and numerous buzzards and a kestrel in the air. Whatever the scar on the landscape it seems to be providing a good habitat for wildlife now, it could be a twitchers' paradise before long.

Pheasant's Roost, my B and B is a farm with a huge modern house built by the owner who us a builder as well as a farmer. His wife greeted me with, "what do you think you are doing walking this Macmillan Way, you must be mad. Sit down and let me get you a cup of tea".

As I explained they are already fully booked, but they have put me in a room converted to a decent bedroom in the back of a barn, with a bathroom attached, and I have just come from a hot soak. They have agreed to feed me, but as they are farmers Mrs said, " I am aiming for 8:30, I'll give you a knock, but come back in the house if you want". They do have wifi but it only works in the house.

Early morning in Stamford

Ketton cement works

A small part of the quarry

Part of the quarry being taken over by nature - that is all quarry nearly as far as you can see and there is as much again on the other side behind the camera

This guy was on my bed when I arrived in my room at Pheasant's Roost

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Phreerunner said...

Well done Conrad, I do hope you enjoy this walk, which I'll be following for a while.
Sue found Scarpa's customer support to be excellent when she had a boot problem, so it's worth contacting them.
Good luck.

The Crow said...

Is your bed buddy a toy warthog? I like its colors.

Glad you have comfortable footwear - nothing ruins a walk so fast as painful feet.

Sir Hugh said...

Purée runner - hi Martin, thanks for that. The results will appear here after I return.


The Crow - yes it is a warthog. My hosts at the B and B had spent time in South Africa and brought him back. I've sent a picture of him to Katie.

Sir Hugh said...

Phreerunner - sorry about your name error - the perils of having a blogonym that Spellchecker and predictive text don't recognise.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to have missed you - and very relieved you managed to find a bed for the night. As for footwear, I buy most of my walking kit from Mountain Warehouse. Cheap. Good service. And reasonable quality. You probably visited the one on Stamford High Street? My favourite shop!

Sir Hugh said...

Coastal walker - I am now on day 8 and the Mountain Warehouse shoes are holding up well. Best bargain i've had for a long time compared with the exorbitant accommodation prices I am paying along the way