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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:

DANAPRIME 12/29/2012 10:02PM

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PINKIE78 12/29/2012 9:44PM

    Thanks for always making walking enjoyable ... and including all of us on your journeys. Awesome distance covered too. I'd say you made the most of it! Thanks so much for taking the time to share.

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SHOAPIE 12/29/2012 9:38PM

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JAMER123 12/29/2012 9:30PM

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ONLYTEMPORARY 12/29/2012 9:28PM

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ROCKYCPA 12/29/2012 9:03PM

    Beautiful pics!

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NEWTINK 12/29/2012 9:03PM

    Love the pics and watch out for sticky in the bag emoticon

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LIVELYGIRL2 12/29/2012 8:40PM

  Hey great, and you got a Fitbit now.

You'll have to tell us about that on one of your blogs too.

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NESARIAN 12/29/2012 8:32PM

    awesome walk! Bless you for enjoying the beauty available to you and for sharing it with us!

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JUDYAMK 12/29/2012 7:20PM

    I love the detail of your walks
Judy

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TLGRNT 12/29/2012 6:37PM

  Great pictures.

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MARYJEANSL 12/29/2012 6:35PM

  As for the carrots...definitely reindeer bait. ;-)

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SWEETNEEY 12/29/2012 6:23PM

    Country living is the life for me...one day.

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JOANNHUNT 12/29/2012 5:51PM

    I can always count on you to make my day with emoticon pictures. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WRITERWANNAB 12/29/2012 4:22PM

    I love reading about your adventures!

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MOM-MOM8 12/29/2012 3:42PM

    emoticon walk in nature! emoticon for sharing.

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JERICHO1991 12/29/2012 2:31PM

    Enjoyed the journey. Please keep them coming.

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LEXIE63 12/29/2012 2:28PM

    Nice walk, shame about the banana! :-)

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SENIMMO 12/29/2012 2:23PM

    I hope the ankle feels better and stops grumbling soon. Thanks for a wonderful walk, since I'm not yet up to my own emoticon

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CYPATAYLOR2 12/29/2012 1:58PM

  emoticon Love your blog!

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PCASEY7 12/29/2012 1:54PM

    Loved your latest walk!

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ALIDOSHA 12/29/2012 1:52PM

    Another "chic" blog of yours as usually. And that subtle irony... emoticon

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IAMAGEMLOVER 12/29/2012 1:40PM

    You better take care of that ankle or it is going to rebel on you. Very interesting journey. I wish I had your energy.

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JANETTEB553 12/29/2012 1:39PM

    emoticon

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WEARINGTHIN 12/29/2012 1:19PM

    Interesting hike. Glenn

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PATRICIAANN46 12/29/2012 1:18PM

  I love your treks!!!!! Sorry to hear the ankle is still complaining. Take care and emoticon for taking us along again.

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RACEWELLWON 12/29/2012 1:14PM

    Thank-you for the Journey

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FLRED12 12/29/2012 1:02PM

  Enjoyed your pictures. Lovely. emoticon

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HEARTS116 12/29/2012 12:56PM

    emoticon emoticon

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VOLLEYGIRL77 12/29/2012 12:36PM

    Nice pictures

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PENOWOK 12/29/2012 12:06PM

    Oh, how I enjoy your walks!! I hope Stonecot isn't uncomfortable with the fitbit attached to her underpinnings!! Thanks for the enjoyable trip!!

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NIKKIJ55 12/29/2012 11:18AM

    Thanks for the walk!

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THEBEV2 12/29/2012 11:09AM

    I'm very, very intrigued by those darn carrots.... Thank you once again for a lovely walk. Your blogs never fail to put a smile on my face. Walk on!

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DR1939 12/29/2012 11:05AM

    Great walk! We just found out that our area has received a $1.7 million grant to build a new cycle path from the nearest small city to a state park near us. It's supposed to go through our small town. I'm very excited. Some parts should be open by midsummer.

You never seem to meet dog walkers. We found dog walkers near every small town on the paths in Wales. It was how we knew we were getting close to civilization.

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WALLINMW 12/29/2012 10:43AM

  Keep Sparkin'!!

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FARIS71 12/29/2012 10:42AM

    Ewwww squishy banana. Very good hike though.

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SUNNYBEACHGIRL 12/29/2012 10:34AM

    Lovely walk

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HOLLYM48 12/29/2012 10:34AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon Great blog!! And good job on the long hike!

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AZMOMXTWO 12/29/2012 10:09AM

  great and pictures thank you

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THOMS1 12/29/2012 10:07AM

    Enjoyed the walk. emoticon emoticon

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LTMURPHY7 12/29/2012 10:06AM

  Love your adventures. You're much more adventurous than I

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GIRLINMOTION 12/29/2012 10:04AM

    It is always so nice going for a walk with you, you get the exercise and I get to sit back and enjoy, lol.

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KARA151 12/29/2012 10:03AM

    Nice job narrating. I think I'll get up and do an exercise Video now since I'm feeling energised.

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CLAYARTIST 12/29/2012 9:53AM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KELLIEBEAN 12/29/2012 9:52AM

    I agree with the travel book idea. I hope your ankle is getting better!

emoticon

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BESCATS 12/29/2012 9:47AM

    Enjoyed the walk with you. As always, great photos. Well done.
The carrots ??? Perhaps someone left them for a bunny rabbit ???? emoticon
Take care of that ankle. emoticon

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CELESTE_B 12/29/2012 9:47AM

    Love your walk...thanks for sharing. Love the pictures.

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NOTSOFLUFFYDAD 12/29/2012 9:40AM

    I hope you are keeping all these journal entries, this wold make a fantastic short story book!

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KNYAGENYA 12/29/2012 9:40AM

    emoticon

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JIBBIE49 12/29/2012 9:38AM

    Great to See your blog in the Spark mail once again. emoticon

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