|23 Jun 2019||Jeremy||Mike|
We were back in our homeland in the Kennet Valley today and full of pleasurable anticipation. Annie and I had set off early and were first to arrive. Shortly afterwards three new hashers drove into the car park. They, Dennis, his wife Sue and Sue’s sister Wendy, had been recommended by Margaret and we made them very welcome.
By about 1055 there were fifteen of us raring to go – but no sign of Jeremy our hare. Could it be that a vastly experienced founder member and ex-GOM like Jeremy would forget to lay a trail – of course not – he drove into the car park at 1059 and by 1100 was explaining the trail marking to our newcomers. He had been up early and had started laying the trail at five o’clock in the morning when the sun was bright and the world was quiet – then gone home to bed, had a full breakfast and returned for the brief.
Four runners (six if you count Kevin and Julie who sped-walked the long as fast as some runners), eleven (or nine) walkers and a dog set off over the railway and then the canal bridge and down a steep slope to the towpath. I was in front at this point (left knee fitness improving you will be pleased to hear). We went some way along the canal waving to passing narrow boats and dodging round the fishermans’ gear and then as we approached Little Bedwyn we turned off left at a kicked out circle and started to climb a muddy track through trees.
At this point Simon had managed to catch up with me and we chatted about cricket and early Etruscan religions and Boris Johnson. As we neared the top who should we meet but Jeremy ensuring that nobody was lost and he joined in the conversation and stayed with us as we came up to a narrow road at the top of the hill. You would have thought you would be reasonably free of traffic on a tiny road like that but after a few minutes two enormous tractors thundered past with a mountain of bales between them, taking up the whole of the road.
Next there was a loop round to the left on the top of the hill and then we scrambled down a fairly steep path through woodland again and emerged by the canal bridge where we had started.
A lovely hash – the walkers were back in about an hour and a quarter and the runners were not far behind them. There’s not much you can complain about in a trail like that.
The Pelican has a garden next to a small river that could be the Kennet or perhaps just a tributary to it but either way a delightful spot – so we had our après there. Sitting in such a place in the sun with a pint of Ramsbury bitter and the company of old friends takes a bit of beating. Keith thanked Jeremy for another excellent trail, for which he had a round of applause and then gradually people began to drift away.