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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:

ANNESYLVIA 12/29/2012 9:35AM

    Nice!

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NEWMOM20121 12/29/2012 9:30AM

    Thank you

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CHERYLSBUTT 12/29/2012 9:29AM

    I hope you do a travel book
You are so talented at sharing your journey and your views!

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SANDYCRANE 12/29/2012 9:28AM

    Another fun walk with you. Thanks for letting us see your world.

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IRISHGIRL3 12/29/2012 9:25AM

    Beautiful pictures!

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BUSMOM27 12/29/2012 9:13AM

    nice pictures

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KARRENLYNN 12/29/2012 9:01AM

    Way to stick to your walk, but be careful with your ankle. I like your pictures, thanks for sharing!

Karen

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GINA180847 12/29/2012 9:00AM

    What an interesting walk. Will wonder about those carrots for a while. Thanks!

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ADELCASALE 12/29/2012 9:00AM

    I love your blogs. Very creative

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SWEETMAGNOLIA2 12/29/2012 8:57AM

    Thanks for taking us along via the photos and narration. I very much enjoy the sights and sounds of hiking in the great outdoors.

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NEW-CAZ 12/29/2012 8:51AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NEPTUNE1939 12/29/2012 8:47AM

    emoticon

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NILLAPEPSI 12/29/2012 8:45AM

    emoticon Road less muddy!! emoticon Thanks for taking us along!!

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DJSHIP46 12/29/2012 8:45AM

    Enjoyed the stroll... hope the ankle gets better very soon... Happy New Year!

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LOOKINGUP2012 12/29/2012 8:39AM

    Loved going on yur walk with you! It's off to shovel snow for me. emoticon Boots either way.

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PATTYSPENCER 12/29/2012 8:39AM

    Great walk and I love the pictures - felt like I'd gone alone with you

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GARDENCHRIS 12/29/2012 8:35AM

    lovley walk.... carrots probably for rabbits??

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TRYINGHARD54 12/29/2012 8:34AM

    whew ! im tired after that long walk...

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GABY1948 12/29/2012 8:29AM

    I love going on your walks with you...thanks for sharing them. I do hope your ankle has quit grumbling by now. Have a great weekend!

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ELLDOCKE 12/29/2012 8:21AM

    Thank you for taking me on your adventure. I hope to hear about more soon. I love to get out and walk the off-beat paths myself, but may never have the opportunity to visit your part of the world.

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MIMIDOT 12/29/2012 8:01AM

    Another nice journey! Thanks for sharing.

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SPINNER520 12/29/2012 7:54AM

    Fun read!

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NCSUE0514 12/29/2012 7:51AM

    I love your pix & your blogs.

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IDLETYME 12/29/2012 7:50AM

    Thanks for taking me on your walk. It was great! emoticon

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ALLGRACEY 12/29/2012 7:32AM

    I completely enjoyed your blog. Thanks for sharing in such an interesting way. The pictures are awesome.

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WILSON1926 12/29/2012 7:13AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LIFETIMER54 12/29/2012 7:12AM

  emoticon

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GOANNA2 12/29/2012 6:51AM

    Thanks for taking me along on your walk. Great blog.
7.81 miles is really fantastic. What did you do with the
banana in the end??? emoticon

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TEACHING1ST 12/29/2012 6:46AM

    As always, I feel like I've been right along with you, Chantal!

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NWLIFESRC 12/29/2012 6:26AM

    emoticon

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KELLYPAQ 12/29/2012 6:05AM

    You have such fun places to explore. Thanks for sharing.

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MASE72 12/29/2012 6:04AM

    nice pics!

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NASFKAB 12/29/2012 5:49AM

  loved it interesting

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LEVELPATHS 12/29/2012 4:30AM

    Excellent description of a typical uk walk. Best blog I've read in a long time! :-)

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RAINBOWMF 12/29/2012 12:16AM

    Keep us walking into the new year
You are awesome

Hugs Mary

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FRANCES-AGAPE 12/28/2012 11:13PM

    emoticon

AHHHHHHHHHHH

Another wonderous day in nature !
emoticon

Dear, you manage to make even
the ordinary seems like an ADVENTURE !

AND

Your pics of a gloomy, gray day and
its accompanying landscape look INVITING !

Glad you're having such emoticon vacation


Have a Super Saturday

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! LOVE and BLESSINGS !


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ANGELWENDYMAMA 12/28/2012 10:42PM

    Neat mushrooms! Ew about the banana. ;)

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COCK-ROBIN 12/28/2012 10:38PM

    Wonderful pics!

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MARYDSAN 12/28/2012 10:26PM

    I thoroughly enjoy your posts! Such a brave walker-I am not much for mud, myself, but I guess with boots.

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TACY123 12/28/2012 8:59PM

    I so enjoy reading your daily travels, emoticon the pictures, an your humor; I agree that maybe someone was trying to help feed the bunnies with all those pieces of carrots, A Big emoticon came over my face when reading about the banana episode.

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KIPPER15 12/28/2012 8:29PM

    Great walk, thank you. emoticon

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LINDAK25 12/28/2012 8:27PM

    That really is a wet day! Do you think someone decided to feed the rabbits with all those carrots? It looks like the fitbit is a good buy. Now you'll know exactly how far you've walked. Hope your ankle is feeling okay. Aren't you supposed to rest a sprained ankle?

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 12/28/2012 8:09PM

    Just lovely! I have been really appreciating your blogs.

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TEDYBEAR2838 12/28/2012 7:51PM

    Thanks for sharing your journey with us!

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REGILIEH 12/28/2012 7:36PM

    I had been wondering about your ankle, so evidently it is better. Nice walk today!

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DOVESEYES 12/28/2012 7:35PM

    What a lovely walk to day thanks

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SLIMLEAF 12/28/2012 6:39PM

    That's a good photo of a grebe you got there.

Well done on the walk and for producing another great blog.

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MICKEYH 12/28/2012 5:17PM

    Great working trip!! Love the picture. Sorry for the messy banana in your bag :(

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CATLADY52 12/28/2012 4:45PM

    emoticon for the baanana. emoticon for everything else.

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CHRIS3874 12/28/2012 4:42PM

    Great blog - I read about the river Lea sometime ago. Have you ever been to the Tottenham marshes?

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