Friday, 19 August 2011

A Sunday stroll

Sunday 7th August - "The 20/20 Vision Walk"

I like walking.  In years to come when the Slushettes have flown the nest and Mrs Slush and I are looking for ways to spend a weekend (outside the football season of course!) I'd like to think we'll don our boots and rucksacks and head off to explore on foot some of the beautiful countryside this country has to offer.  With the prize of a pint or two of real ale available at journey's end of course.
In the meantime, events like this year's Club sponsored activity help sate my appetite for the great outdoors, albeit briefly. 
Two years after we assembled in Market Weighton for the start of the "Million Metre Meander", a smaller but similarly committed group of walkers (and one runner) met at the Country Park Inn, Hessle for another stroll along part of the Wolds Way.

As with the previous walk (and ideed the "Hugging The Coast Bike Ride" of a year prior to that) proceeds from the exercise were to be split between club funds and a worthy cause of our choosing.  For 2011 this was the Emily's Computer Appeal, set up in aid of Leven teenager Emily Bickerton who suffers from a genetic disroder known as Rett Syndrome.
As Emily's site explains, our thunder had been slightly stolen by news that the family's initial appeal target had already been reached.  This could have made things quite embarrassing given the publicity we'd already attached to it.  Thankfully, a quick chat between Fozzy and the Bickerton family and we had a new goal - to purchase one of the special stands which would enable the Tobii Eyegaze system to be sited at Frederick Holmes School without all the hassle of moving the one from Emily's home.

A slight hiccup on the funding front was not the only thing.  Patrington Cricket Club's clinching of a place in the Trident Cup Final and the unexpected early arrival of Kev Appleyard's second daughter meant both organisers were now scheduled to be away on the day of the walk!
In the event, thirteen of the original party were available for duty on the official date, with another six or seven pencilled in for a second date of Bank Holiday Monday, 29th August.
It was cool and dark as we assembled in the shadow of the Humber Bridge ahead of our venture.  Start time was 11.05am with an anticipated finish of "about tea-time".
Off we set with "Litvinenko" lookalike Smalley, who'd opted to run the route, soon disappearing into the return a few moments later: "I can't remember whether I've locked me car!"
Aside from a mix-up in North Ferriby, where the high tide meant the planned stroll along the low water path to join Long Plantation had to be aborted, the walk proved largely uneventful and very enjoyable.  The Beverley Twenty, as it is known, from Hessle to the Minster taking in Welton and Skidby en route, is a long-established walk and it's easy to see why it's so popular.
"Moderate" seems a fair description given a few steady climbs along the way.  However, aside from the inconvenience of crossing the A63 and the reported existence of a "troublesome" bull near Model Farm, there really is little to spoil one's enjoyment of this particular stroll.
Not that the weather didn't have a go.  Several squally showers did their best to dampen spirits, particularly around Skidby.  However, all this did was force us to seek temporary refuge in the Half Moon where a very nice pint of Copper Dragon Golden Pippin was quaffed while perusing the amount still left to cover.
In not the only improbable-looking sight of the day, as we set off again for part two of the walk one member of the group - Pasha - decided to partake of an ice cream from possibly the smallest ice cream van in the East Riding...and in steadily increasing drizzle!
Thankfully, the rain had stopped by the time we neared journey's end.  Indeed, when the Minster came into view it was amid the beginnings of a fine summer's evening.  We arrived at its doors at 5.27pm, which allowing for the half-hour spent in the pub and the number of five-minute supply stops taken en route, meant we'd completed the actual walk in just over five-and-a-half hours which wasn't bad going at all.  I later learned that Smalls had covered the route in just over three hours.  Top effort.

After the obligatory photocall we retreated to the Monks Walk where a couple of pints of Black Sheep passed my lips.  Nice.  Due to a mix-up on the logistics front, I was able to follow this with a fine The Young Rev (Brains) offering in The Green Dragon and a superb Tunnel Vision (Box Steam Brewing Co) in the Hare & Hounds at Burstwick.  A cracking way to end a cracking day.

A photo record of the walk can be found on the official club website.

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