Monday, April 18, 2011

More rambling Rosing!

It's been yonks since I have posted, and that's cos I really cannot be trusted to keep youse all up to date. Not god enough, I know, but it is just going to have to do.

Anyhoo, here we are again in Europe and the UK, rambling our hearts out.

Day One of our foray saw us in a train, choosing off to Moreton-in-Marsh, a couple of stops on from Oxford. Our destination was Bourton-on-the-Water (Bourton), where we were to set off by foot for Winchcombe early the next day. We arrived at our B&B late in the afternoon and met by Alan and Carol at Rose Cottage and shown to our very comfy accommodation. The front room of Rose Cottage was designated as the Prayer Room, and it seems that Alan and Carol host bible study groups every so often much the same as Jude choice off to book group back home in Wang.

Next day saw us in walking boots, all kitted out for our ramble to Winchcombe, along the 'Warden's Way'. The forecast was bleak and the first drop of rain plopped onto the nose of Dear Jude (DJ) just outside the door of Rose Cottage. I am most pleased to report that the second drop never plopped! That's right, grey Day One with no rain out to Winchcombe, and sunny Day Two on the way back to Bourton next day on the Windrush Way. Wakko!

The Warden's Way (out) takes The Rambler through a number of cutesie Cotswold villages and over some rolling pastures and fields. It is much less remote than last year's Dales walk, as your Rambler is never very far from country lanes and habitation. Nonetheless, it is strikingly beautiful in a most Cotswoldy sort of fashion.

The first villages were the Slaughters, Upper and Lower. Carol told us that the inhabitants were a bit 'look-down-their-noses-ish', but we didn't really see any, so it didn't matter. On we rambled up the river, over the rolling hills ('wolds') and on to Winchcombe.

The White Hart Inn was our slumber-point, but not before we checked out the shops and a pub or two. The Warden's Way covered about 22 kms of rambling, so we arrived tired, but happy and keen to rip off our shoes and stockings and to flop down somewhere cozy for a pint or two. This we did at the White Hart.

Dinner was scrummy, and so was the wine. DJ headed off to bed, but Dear Graeme stayed on in the bar to savour just one more pint of cider. BIG MISTAKE! Big headache. Big trouble. NEVER AGAIN! [Till next time.]

At 9-ish the two Ramblers set sail along the Windrush Way, bound for Bourton. Just out of Winchcombe, the track is dominated by a castle (now mostly ruined) where Ann Parr spent most of her life, and where she will spend most of her death, because she is buried there. I can't tell you the name of the castle, because DJ has gone to the Spice Market in downtown Istanbul with Dear Gryjina. I'll tell you later.

The Windrush way steers the wayfarer away from villages, and is more remote than Warden's. We only got lost once. Lots of ancient, ruined, abandoned, mediaeval villages to pass by, however kept the intrigue-meter at a very high reading. Nothing to see, but they were marked on the map and probably COULD be discerned if there were enough time to poke around, bu there wasn't, so we mosied on.

We did see a horse-drawn caravan parked out the back of a farm-house, but it was WAY too big for Ratty and Moley and Toad to manage on their own. Its tyres were flat and it was set up on bricks, so no-one used it. Pity ...

A few kms before Bourton we passed through a little settlement of houses huddled around a mill-house. This was gorgeous, surrounded in and about by lovely little gardens and such. A disused rail line ran along the path at this point, only adding to the intrigue of the area (don't get me started on disused railway lines, I warn youse!)

The track through Bourton took us back along the bank of the river that we had followed at various times out from Bourton, and back in. Here, for the first time, we could see trout in the stream. Appazzas, PC (Prince Charles) could only get on the waiting list for a fishing membership in the area! What chance does a simple Wayfarer or indeed Rambler have against such odds? I arks youse!

So back to Rose Cottage and Alan and Carol's hospitality it was for the Ramblers. What an adventure it all was! We just CANNOT get enough of this rambling caper, sore feet and all!

Cheerio for now!

The Rsmblers!

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