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Friday, 22 May 2015

Thurlby to Stamford

Day 3 - Friday 22nd May

Yesterday a guy appeared from nowhere looking puzzled and asked me a question you don't hear often, " have you seen a swarm anywhere?"

It seems his bees had decided to leave home. I'm not sure what you do with a swarm when you find it, but he was too anxious to enter into conversation, and he was on his way looking up down and sideways.

I was away from the YHA about 6:45 am to the local shop which opened at 6:30. I bought a sandwich for breakfast and asked about a coffee machine in such a way that the lady of course offered to make me a cup of coffee.

Quite lot of Tarmac today but refreshingly more frequent change of scenery.

After yesterday's nine and a half hours I decided to have a short day giving myself plenty of time to find accommodation this bank holiday weekend. I had about twenty names on a list from the official guide for the Macmillan Way. At the tourist information office I was told the town was full. They eliminated all but three on my list they knew were already full. Two of those I phoned and they were full. The third was on answerphone. I walked the five minutes to the address but there was nobody there. I again phoned Fay, (Dolphin Guest Hoise) and she answered at first saying she had no room, but I persisted with my tale of woe and she relented so I reckon I got the last available room in Stamford tonight.

After several abortive calls for tomorrow I had to invoke the tale of woe again and was told they would squeeze me in somehow at The Pheasant's Roost Luxury Guest House at Manton near Rutland Water so I'm wondering how that will turn out.

I had bought a pair of Scarpa trail shoes for this trip at the exorbitant price of £126. They have given me hell. Even with a Sorbothane footbed that I put in the soles are rock hard and my feet soles have been very painful. At Mountain Warehouse I bought a pair of their own brand, waterproof lined with Vibram soles and very good cushioning for £49. The others have been posted home awaiting my complaint to Scarpa, not that I suppose that will lead to any satisfaction.




The River Glen just upstream from the tidal sluice


Clearing weed on the R. Glen


I reckon their tractors must fly


Youth Hostel at Thurlby



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5 comments:

bowlandclimber said...

B&Bs throughout the land are quaking at your impending arrival!
You seem to be in the middle of nowhere - how did you find a 'mountain warehouse' and who are they?
Hope your soles settle down, not to mention your soul.

Sir Hugh said...

Stafford is a serious town with all the multiples. Mountain Warehouse are a multiple selling supposedly cheaper outdoor gear, but I reckon some of their stuff is as good if not better than some of the snobby brands, and this story just illustrates that. Scarpa are supposed to be top notch but they won't get my vote in the future.

Roderick Robinson said...

What on earth can have been happening in Stamford? Perhaps a meeting of the Flat Earth Society which would make sense.

And what seduced you about the £126 Scarpas? Obviously the name. Or possibly the price ("I always believe that investment in my own comfort is never wasted."). If the suppliers won't play say you're going to burn them ritually, video the conflagration and then post the result for the edification of thousands.

Years ago I suggested the least-likely long-distance walk: linking up industrial estates, as I recall. You haven't gone quite that far with the Macmillan Way (remember to mutter the mantra: I've never had it so good, and neither have Scarpa) but in seeking out a walk unlikely to be heavily patronised by tourists you seem to have picked one which lacks the qualities that encourage tourism. A collector's item then? Known only by the cognoscenti and traversed by those who have turned their back on the world. The Misanthrope's Way. The Mutant's March. The Blind-Leading-The-Blind Barrel-of-Laughs.

Never mind there's the Cotswolds to come. The region of two-Bimmer families, forming a cordon sanitaire round Dave The Magnificant. Where B&B visitors eat off gold plate and surrender their credit cards on entry. Make sure you wear your Scarpas - they'll fit right in.

gimmer said...

Mountain Warehouse - strange chain - not quite 'there', although, funnily enough, I had to buy a pair of the same top-of-the range Vibram soled trail shoes in the Richmond shop 'on sale today only' for £49 to do a floor job in Newcastle when my Keens fell apart - they are OK but lose that comfort and fit quite quickly: I recommend Ahnu, as you know - best ever.

I once went to lunch at the George - vastly over-rated, stuffy, crowded with 'go to be seens', very indifferent food with West End prices and pretension: the sloughs of despond are behind you now, i imagine - with the delectable mountains ahead of you (ie land over 0 above datum) !
Good country, if a bit tame compared with Sutherland, perhaps.

Sir Hugh said...

RR - the Scarpas are posted back home at great expense. Your suggestion for conflagration is so tempting I might even do that without even having a go at Scarpa, on the other hand...

I don't think Harold would have done the MW in his later years, but he may have enjoyed some of the altering holes in the Cotswolds. The route is of course associated with Macmillan cancers care.

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Gimmer - oh dear! You're not back doing that dreadful multi-storey staircase again in Newcastle are you?