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    CHICCHANTAL   23,113
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Landscape under water


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Friday, December 28, 2012

I meet up with Stonecot for a walk up the river Lea today. To be fair, this is a landscape that is mostly under water all the time, consisting of a river, a canal, several streams and a series of fishponds. However there were lots of extra pools today too.



The first thing we see when we get to the canal, having missed the cycle track because muggins forgets to say 'turn left' at the salient point, is a Great Crested Grebe. It gives us a dirty look and dives.



You can't win them all. We turn up the canal and start walking. We've chosen this path because it's a nice gravelly non-muddy one. There's plenty of mud and water in evidence elsewhere though.




The canal, which is usually fairly clear, is like the Limpopo: great, grey-green and greasy. The towpath, usually full of cyclists, is almost deserted. You can see some way between the trees and bushes because there is no foliage left. It's stark, almost monochrome and lovely.





The outward journey passes without event, and we're going pretty briskly. This is not because we are heading for a pub - there is a pub at the point where we are due to turn back but for reasons of economy (both financial and calorific) we've brought our sandwiches and drinks. There's a handy bench at the turning point and we sit on it and eat and drink and as we finish I check the time and it's only half past 11 in the morning.



Ho hum. Well, I was hungry. I have a banana with me but decide to save it for later. We set off back along the canal (which is actually a river at this point). There's an alternative path along the field but it's a bit too alternative and I have promised to keep us out of mud today. After half a mile or so we turn off to pick up the cycle route back, just for variety. This is either someone's front garden or a space in the trailer park, not sure. It's not usually a pond.




We come to a fork and I get out the map and pore sagely over it, finally concluding with 'Well, don't ask ME, there are tracks all over the place!'

You can rely on me, you know.

We take the left fork because the right fork goes along the railway and as it's the main line to Stansted airport it's a bit noisy. We wander along and Stonecot is telling me about her Fitbit and she reveals it is attached to her underpinnings as she puts it on first so she doesn't forget it, and I say 'I'm putting THAT in the blog.' And so I have.

We even find some shrooms:




And a hole that's too big for a rabbit. Badger? Fox? not sure.



Anyway, there we are on what turns out to be the road less travelled, except by anglers. There are always a few of these about and we've seen one or two, but our nice wide path leads to a car park that is full of cars and sort of terminates there. We have a choice of two paths, one of which is clearly muddy and the other one tells us it's leading back to the canal in 300m. This we take. After about 100m, we come to a point where the lake on one side and the pond on the other side have met in the middle.

'Onwards or back?' I ask Stonecot. She graciously waves me on, like royalty. I'm a bit taller than she is so if I go in over my head, she'll know not to follow. It is at least ordinary peaty mud, not clay. I pick my way across, getting ready to scream and panic if the water goes over my boots, let alone my head. Luckily, it doesn't.

Stonecot is too nice to remind me that we were supposed to be avoiding mud today.




We come out on a path near the canal but there's another clear path going back towards the cycle track and we opt for this one. Along a bit and over a few streams, and we're both starting to feel a bit tired. We come to a scattering of strategically placed carrots and speculate over what they are doing there. If you know, please tell us.



I fish in my bag for my mobile to see the time, and withdraw my hand hurriedly.

Something unspeakable and sticky is lurking at the bottom of the bag.

Before I can go into shrieking hysterics, I realise it's the banana I didn't eat earlier. It is, as Stonecot observes, 'past its best'. Indeed, it's so far past its best that I do not want to leave it loose in the bag and squash it into my empty sandwich box to stop it causing further trouble.

I would have taken a photo of it but I don't want you to have nightmares.

Shortly after this, we get back to the station and there's a nice warm train with comfortable seats waiting at the platform.

Good timing, I say.

Fitbit says we did 7.81 miles, so pretty respectable given our age and infirmities (the ankle was grumbling this morning so I told it to shut up and walk and it did).
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Member Comments About This Blog Post:
CATNCAG 10/29/2013 10:37AM

    Awesome blog as always! emoticon for taking us with u on your journey!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

That is awesome! I would be ecstatic to walk half of that distance as I have neuropathy but have high hopes that it will go away as I lose more weight...

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TIPPY211 1/10/2013 12:57PM

    emoticon emoticon

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EFFRAYECHILDE 1/9/2013 8:50AM

    emoticon

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DURANGOREDDOG 1/8/2013 4:36PM

    emoticon

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HIKETOHEIGHTS 1/6/2013 1:54PM

    Nice blog!

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TEEBEE44 1/5/2013 12:56AM

    Love the pics!

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KHALIA2 1/4/2013 12:37AM

  Beautiful Pictures!

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KNEWMETODAY 1/3/2013 11:14PM

    Ah, the banana could always be used for banana bread/muffins.

Nice piece. Thanks for sharing

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SERASARA 1/2/2013 7:52PM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DEBLYNN323 1/2/2013 12:14PM

    emoticon

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SFREY217 1/2/2013 5:50AM

    What a wonderful story.

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EMILYDOODLE 1/1/2013 9:48PM

  Great pics! emoticon

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PETULA8 1/1/2013 4:47PM

    Great blog. I live in Sussex and the river Arun and surroundings are pretty much the same at the moment. Is someone feeding badgers with those carrots, perhaps misguidedly? emoticon

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LAURIETAIT 1/1/2013 4:01AM

    Love the pics. So glad you have obedient ankles or we'd all miss out. lol

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HYATTI1 12/31/2012 11:22PM

    Hahaha...the banana made me laugh. Loved the pictures on all your walks.

Joanna

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HKARLSSON 12/31/2012 10:42PM

    Perhaps the carrots were left for the Elephant's Child, what with it's 'satiable curiosity and all.... ;)

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MAKINACHANGE4ME 12/31/2012 9:53PM

    I feel like I took the journey with you. emoticon for sharing!

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JESSICABOOTY 12/31/2012 4:38PM

    For 2013 I am buying hip waders so I can go on your water walks.

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JADASMOM2 12/31/2012 2:55PM

  Thanks again for you story of your walk & the pictures. I love them.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HLOCHRIDGE 12/31/2012 1:16PM

    As always, love your pix!!

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KOOKYKATHIE 12/31/2012 10:54AM

    emoticon For another amazing journey emoticon

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1STARVINGARTIST 12/31/2012 9:58AM

    Beautiful!
emoticon

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MOMOSG 12/31/2012 9:20AM

    Great share!

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DOBSONSM 12/31/2012 9:20AM

    emoticon

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SRBSRB26 12/31/2012 7:49AM

    emoticon

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CAM2438 12/31/2012 7:33AM

    emoticon for sharing. I enjoyed your blog!!! emoticon

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FATHINSN 12/31/2012 7:04AM

    Maybe those scattered bits of carrots are eaten by the mysterious creature from the big hole LOL

Looks like a nice breezy cool place for walk :D

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MANILUS 12/30/2012 11:52PM

    Great job! Carrots for rabbits or horses?

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NLYR20 12/30/2012 10:50PM

  emoticon

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NOMORENOMORE 12/30/2012 10:30PM

    Wonderful journey - thank you, as always, for bringing us along.


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CAMSEDGE 12/30/2012 9:33PM

    I love your blogs and pictures...just like slogging along with you on this one...if that hole was in this part of the country, I'd say Armadillo...Texas, that is. Parts of it look like my yard in Winter...the monochrome..ha

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DMEYER4 12/30/2012 8:02PM

  great blog

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LJOYCE55 12/30/2012 7:19PM

  No idea what the carrots are for, but thank you for sparing me nightmares of mushy banana. emoticon

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ANJAYS-JOURNEY 12/30/2012 5:46PM

    thankyou for the guided walk

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DESERTJULZ 12/30/2012 3:42PM

    The carrots were left for the rabbits. Unfortunately, they never got the chance to eat them, as they were caught by the fox who then dragged them into her foxhole, as shown in your photo.

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CORALINE01 12/30/2012 3:39PM

    beautiful photos, thanks for sharing

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40PUDDLEJUMPER 12/30/2012 2:55PM

    Wonderful, I love your walks they give me hope that once the weather has calmed down a little here in the outer Hebrides (85mph winds) I will get back out there with my camera - again thankyou

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4KWALK 12/30/2012 2:25PM

    Altogether lovely, except for the ??? in the bag. emoticon

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MASHELDON 12/30/2012 11:28AM

    Thank you for sharing your walk!

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MARYHENNIG 12/30/2012 11:17AM

  Lovely!

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INGMARIE 12/30/2012 11:06AM

    emoticon stunning photos ,and a lovely humorous blog love it.
Thank you.

oops almost forgot

Happy New Year. emoticon

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LIFETIMER54 12/30/2012 11:03AM

  emoticon emoticon

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VERIVEGI 12/30/2012 10:24AM

    What a beautiful walk!

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TDEMAIO2 12/30/2012 6:26AM

    emoticon Thank you for sharing another beautiful walk with us emoticon

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JACEUG 12/30/2012 4:27AM

    Stunning article and photos

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BLUEJEAN99 12/30/2012 1:49AM

    emoticon emoticon

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JUSGETTENBY42 12/30/2012 12:39AM

    emoticon

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JUNEAU2010 12/29/2012 11:49PM

    If you walked on the towpath, would it become a toepath?! Sorry, I could not resist!

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JUNEBUG4967 12/29/2012 10:35PM

    Wonderful commentary on your walk. And I enjoyed the great pics to go with it.

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JANEMARIE77 12/29/2012 10:19PM

    emoticon

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