A gentler walk today, intending to be around 6 miles but working out at nearly 8. Once again I got lost on the way back: once again I failed to understand how this could have happened. Either I took another path which had vanished by the time I came back, or I’d failed to notice a long row of houses and a large pub. Now call me unobservant if you will, but if there’s one thing I notice it’s pubs. Because I like pubs. I’m interested in pubs. I like to take a look at them and see what sort of pub they are; whether they’re likely to do good beer and have a good atmosphere and so on. And it turned out that, my phone having died and the map being rather too small-scale to provide the requisite detail, I entered said pub and asked if they knew where the Meadows Lane car park was. And a very nice young man said he did know it. He told me where to walk and even came out with me to make sure I understood. He was such a nice man that I felt like Harry Enfield and friends:
Where was I? Oh yes, walking. Well let’s start at the beginning. I parked up at the Birstall end of Watermead Park and found the river with no problem. It was going to be a pretty straightforward walk along the waterside with the added excitement of estrenar the sheewee (estrenar is a Spanish word for which there is no direct English equivalent: it means ‘to use for the first time’.) I had some difficulty with this, not logistically but psychologically, as I was somewhat inhibited by the fear of being seen; however I’m sure everything will improve with practice. The path goes past Belgrave Hall, an 18th century house now, sadly, only open for special events, and the Space Centre which houses a rocket that actually went into space:
It was noticeable how much less friendly and more hurried people got, the nearer I approached Leicester, being less inclined to say hello and more inclined to rush past you. I reached Abbey Park in time for lunch and mooched around there for a bit. Abbey Park houses the remains of an abbey where Cardinal Wolsey once lived; there are also very pleasant gardens, the wide meandering of the river Soar, a miniature railway and a cafe.
After spending a while here I started my walk back which was just the same only in reverse, except for the end bit which I told you about.
And that was today.