|6 Jan 2019||Jeremy||Simon|
The last time we based ourselves at the Sun Inn was in August 2016 when a chirpy GOM led us on a clear day with light fluffy clouds and warm sunshine. This Sunday was not like that. It was a damp, grey day when the squirrels were minding their nuts and the natives all looked as if they could do with some post Christmas and New Year fresh air coupled with some light exercise.
A group of some 20 of us gathered in the car park poised for the off. Jeremy briefed the group thoroughly, accompanied by the energetic Noodle (a dog’s name for which there has to be a good story). The challenge which Jeremy had not foreseen was that our counterparts in the North Wilts Hash had chosen the nearby Calley Arms @ Hodson for their run (also starting at 11am) and our trails overlapped. Oh what potential confusion. However, we were assured that there were clear points of difference and our separate routes were crystal clear. One positive might be that they would have left their customary stash of beer on their course – we shall see …..
The group departed chattering as usual and not paying too much attention to signage at this point.
We led off around Coate Water which was busy with families and the occasional refugee from Swindon Shinsplints – had they lost the main group or were these runners on extra duties – who knew?
From the busy surrounds of the lake we moved off out into the woods and fields surrounding Coate and headed past the golf course and on towards the motorway. At this point we came upon our first challenge which was the short/long divide coupled with a misleading NWH sign. Recalling exactly what Jeremy had told us we headed off on the wrong side of a barbed wire fence heading in what we believed to be the correct direction. Fortunately Noodle and Jeremy had us covered and yelled to us to retrace our steps and get back on the right track.
After this minor hiccup we regained our alert state, our senses now fully attuned to the hum of the motorway and the bleating of sheep. A strange counterpoint on an otherwise pleasant route with an outline of green fields and wintry tree lined pathways.
We moved back towards the Lake and spotted a number of swans, geese and assorted bird life on its edge. The little train could be heard in the distance as we approached the Museum and it seemed to have plenty of customers .
Eventually we bowled down the hill to the Pub and into a warm area which Jeremy had reserved for us in the main Bar. Light refreshment and a few Beers were consumed amidst tales of a well marked and enjoyable run or walk.
By the way, no NWH3 alcohol was found on route …
Many thanks to Jeremy for a clearly laid out and pleasant morning, despite those pesky North Wilts hashers.