Back in December, during the Christmas holidays, Piggle and I decided to get out into the Forest of Bowland to do some walking off our usual patch.
Much furtling in books took place. Rather too much of it occurred on the morning of the walk itself, in fact, because although we were up early it was after 1230 by the time we left the car and set off up the road towards the track that leads to Fell End. Since the sun was due to set at approximately 4pm we had a lot of fast miles to put in if we were to finish during daylight hours. Um…
Nothing loath, we decided to go for it, and soon we were trotting happily along the track towards the Bleasdale Tower.
We found our way up onto the fell side fairly easily, and struck up in the direction of what turned out to be the appropriately named Fiendsdale. I say that because it then seemed to take us approximately 16,000 hours to circumnavigate Holme House Fell to get to Fair Snape Fell. It was very tussocky and boggy and, in places, even peat haggy.
We did eventually get up, though, and then we began to make our way down towards Parlick.
I think the plan had been to strike down the side of Parlick towards Blindhurst Farm, and to make our way back along paths through fields towards Bleasdale Tower, but–as I’ve found sometimes happens when out walking–I couldn’t see anything other than the main path down.We therefore stuck to it, and eventually came out at Fell Foot.
By then the light was failing, and as we set off along a tarmaced lane that was off the part of the map that I’d printed out Piglet looked up at me with a “Oh, God… here we go again!” sort of expression on her furry little face. It’s amazing the way I’ve learned to read her expressions over the years!
I think it then took us a couple of hours to get back to the car. We crossed ultra-muddy fields, and eventually Piglet refused to walk on and I had to pick her up and carry her for a while. Major fail 😦
I sort of knew that we were aiming in the right direction, but we didn’t seem to be getting any closer to the point at which we’d left the car. When we arrived at what I think from the map must have been the junction on the road with a track leading to Broadgate I thought we’d cracked it, but when we arrived at a cluster of buildings in the dark there didn’t seem to be a way out.
In desperation I knocked on a door, and a very kind woman in a nighty and dressing gown came out and led us to the start of a field track and told us how to get back to the car. Thank you, very kind person! Without that help it’s entirely possible that we’d still be there…
I tried to speak cheerfully to Piglet as we made our way along the last of the road to the car, but it was clear that she had descended into the sort of foul mood that no kind of food-related bribes or blandishments from me could cure. When we arrived at the car I rubbed her down with a towel and offered gravy bones, but she refused to look at me and crept into her crate in the boot with her tail between her legs. I’m pretty sure I saw a tear in her eye.
When we got home I carried her in and popped her down inside the door but she refused to move! Eventually she consented to eat some chickling with white mice…
…and then I wrapped her up in a blanket on the sofa, from where she lay glaring malignantly at me…
…until she eventually fell asleep.
I’m looking forward to getting back out to the Forest of Bowland for further exciting forays, but I think next time I’ll pay a little more attention to the timings 🙂