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    STONECOT   41,809
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It Was Only 7.3 Miles

Saturday, January 12, 2013

As I hopped into my sons car on Thursday evening, on our way to karate, I said cheerfully to him,"I'm going on a 10 mile hike with Chicchantal tomorrow"

Now this was an euphemism. What I meant was:- I'm going on a 10 mile hike tomorrow, please don't cripple me again like last week!!!

So then we spent 90 minutes twisting ourselves (our legs especially) into impossible positions, knackering our hamstrings, doing and holding long stances, kicking up and down the hall, etc. My legs were actually shaking towards the end.

Moving on to Friday morning, and I am meeting Chicchantal at Loughton station at 9.30. We started walking uphill towards Epping. The first bit was along the Loughton road, and I thought my luck was in as Chicchantal suddenly darted right, down a path that led alongside a pub! It turned out to be a false dawn however, as it just connected to another road. On the first hill I had to stop for a breather, my legs were like jelly, but, hoping that they'd soon get over it, we pushed on. The first real section was, as usual, MUDDY! But we soon came out onto a proper gravelled path, which was a lot easier. We found a lake



I think this was the dragonfly lake, but I'm not sure.

One day we will walk under a clear blue sky, in sunshine, (I wish!), but as always happens, it was raw, grey and getting foggier by the moment. The conversation was punctuated by - 'you normally have a really nice view from here'

After an hours steady walking, I had been promised a tea stall, and lo and behold, just as promised, there it was! MECCA!



With visions of a bacon sarnie (with brown sauce) zapping my synapses, I hastened on. Alas, no bacon :-( but a cup of tea, and a slice of fruit cake were very welcome.

The forest was very quiet, and peaceful. All the trees in this part have been pollarded at some time, and their trunks have grown in to some really weird shapes. Having a vivid imagination, I pointed out an otters head poking out of one trunk, and a crouching man, with his head stuck into another! Dead trees are made safe, then left to rot away.



This one had an interesting fern as a topknot.

Chicchantal found some 'shrooms on this one



There's not a lot you can say really about trees, but we chattered away, as we followed the trail up hill and down dale.



The cake had obviously provided some much needed calories, as we didn't even pause for breath, or stop talking, on the up bits!

We had been walking a couple of hours when we stopped for Chicchantal to consult the map, and were surprised at how close to the end of the walk we were. A lot of the rides were morasses, so we took to the pavement and walked beside the road for the last mile or so, past a building that 500 years ago had been Queen Elizabeth 1 hunting lodge. Unfortunately it is so restored that not much of the original is left. Next to it is a pub!

It was mentioned that as soon as the word 'pub' was spoken I speeded up! Like a horse scenting its stable! We walked on past however.

But Chicchantal found some more 'shrooms




We finished in Chingford. Sitting on the train to go back, we consulted my Fitbit. We had realised that the walk had been somewhat shorter than we had expected, but we were disappointed to discover it had only been 7.3 miles.
But thinking about it, we'd gone a lot faster than on the first walk we did together, and that was 7.8 miles. I never would have thought that I could have been disappointed at it ONLY being 7.3 miles!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EABL81 1/13/2013 8:25PM

    Seven miles is pretty impressive, if you ask me! I love the idea of a tea stall. We have food trucks here in the US, but nothing like a tea stall. I love tea, so it sounds like a great idea to me.

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MARYJEANSL 1/13/2013 4:32PM

  Seven plus miles is a pretty hefty walk...nothing to spit at.

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SHELLYBABE2 1/13/2013 1:42PM

    TFS your walk with us - love your pics :)



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LIS193 1/13/2013 11:36AM

    Thank you for sharing your walk with us!

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MARYDSAN 1/13/2013 6:57AM

    I loved your blog about your hike with ChicChantal! Great pictures, too! Tell her I miss her blogs. That's great that the two of you get to do these great walks together!

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DESERTJULZ 1/12/2013 11:56PM

    What beautiful photos. Glad you had a great walk. 7.3 miles may not have been your goal; however, that's a solid workout! I'm pleased with myself when I hit 3 or more.

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XTINA46 1/12/2013 9:00PM

    Hi Stonecot,
Must say, I totally loved your blog about your hike with ChicChantal! So funny and witty and smart. Gorgeous photos too. I will blog over the next day about the beach walks I am doing here in Florida every day -- got photos of dolphins and pelicans and birds that I call professors! No 'shrooms but lots of lizards and turtles! LOL! I t don't think I can be as sparkly (?) as you are when writing but will do my best! I am finding that keeping in touch with the London Contingent of Sparkys makes me super motivated when it comes to exercising! THIS IS GOOD! I'm getting into a very good groove. :-) emoticon



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SUNNYBEACHGIRL 1/12/2013 8:55PM

    Great pictures

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SENIMMO 1/12/2013 8:41PM

    Wow. Thanks for sharing your walk! I will be happy when I can manage .73 miles! But then again, my new knees are 3 weeks old for the right and 3 months for the left, so I guess it will be a while. And if you happen to be in the midwest US, stop on by and I will make up some bacon sandwiches-they happen to be my favorite emoticon

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DOVESEYES 1/12/2013 7:26PM

    Great blog thanks for letting me come along too emoticon

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1BEACHWALKER 1/12/2013 3:00PM

    Great blog! I love to do the same share our walks on SP on my blogs! We are planning on some forest hikes soon while on vacation this week! I hope one day I will say I did 7-10 miles on a hike! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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INGMARIE 1/12/2013 1:43PM

    Wonderful walk ,great pictures, I think i would have stuck my foot into the pub
hehe emoticon
Lovely blog. thanks for sharing.

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DALID414 1/12/2013 12:35PM

    Weird, I think the word pub would make me speed up too. I don't even drink!

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MISSUSRIVERRAT 1/12/2013 12:31PM

    That looks like a wonderful adventure! Thanks so much for sharing.
Have never seen a pollarded tree before or a tea stall and certainly never near
a 500 year old hunting lodge of a Queen! Very educational post for someone here in the midwest of the U.S.of A.!


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NOTSPEEDY 1/12/2013 9:51AM

    Great blog and pictures. Thanks for sharing.

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LINDAK25 1/12/2013 9:49AM

    Wow, 7.3 miles is fantastic! Looks really muddy. Does the mud make it harder? Love the pictures. Be careful or Chicchantal will have you running those miles!

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GOLDENRODGIRL 1/12/2013 9:45AM

    Oh, I love pollarded trees. They don't do that nearly as often in the US, so it always looks so French to me.

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AKELAZ 1/12/2013 8:24AM

    Great blog and lovely photos. Sounds like you had a really good time.

Thanks very much for sharing. You've really inspired me.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CIPHER1971 1/12/2013 8:15AM

    sounds like a grand day out even if it was 'only' 7.3 miles - Awesome

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CAROLYNNE242 1/12/2013 7:41AM

    Well done!!

Thanks for blogging!!

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CHICCHANTAL 1/12/2013 7:09AM

    New path to me and we didn't get lost. at all. Weird.

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ADELE66 1/12/2013 6:38AM

    Sounds like you both had a lovely time!

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COCK-ROBIN 1/12/2013 6:29AM

    Wow, I wish I could walk 7.3 miles.

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COCK-ROBIN 1/12/2013 6:29AM

    Wow, I wish I could walk 7.3 miles.

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KKKAREN 1/12/2013 6:06AM

    Over 7 miles is nothing to scoff at. Nice pics!

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-POOKIE- 1/12/2013 6:02AM

    Good stuff!! Thank you for sharing!

Would be neat to meet Spark friends for a walk!

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RAINBOWCHOC 1/12/2013 5:57AM

    Well done! We find ourselves checking the fitbits to make sure we get the flights of stairs in by bedtime. I'm looking forward to clitmbing the 100 steps (which is really more but you always lose count) in Ramsgate to see how many flights that comes up with.
Hope to meet up again soon

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