Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Marsworth Walk

A dusting of snow had hardened the ground and made walking less treacherous.  I was unable to find any missing local footpaths on the OSM and decided to visit some of the local hills for more of a view.  It was a circular walk of about 16km.

Walking in an anti-clockwise direction starting along the towpath provided some interesting views of the canal.

The dry dock at Bulbourne Junction

The old canal workshops at Bulbourne, now and ironworks for garden fittings

There was higher ground to the east which could be reached by turning away from the canal and walking down Marshcroft Lane.  The public footpath zigzagged up the side of the hill.  Initially it was woodland but later the ground opened up.

Good views to the west

On the walk to the hill I could see tiny figures on the skyline.  They were moving fast which led me to believe they might be using sleds or skiing.  When I reached the highest feature (Pitstone Hill) I realised they were families enjoying their plastic sleds.

My eastern objective was the far hill in the middle of the above photo.  It’s Steps Hill.  Much of this land appears to be owned by The National Trust and they have gone to the effort of constructing car parks to assist with public access.

On the far side of Pitstone Hill I came upon a family making the finishing touches to their snowman.

I was almost at the summit of Steps Hill when the sky darkened and I was hit with sleet.  I hate sleet.  Rain I can handle and snow is better.  But sleet sucks the warmth out of you!  It also put a stop to any further photographs during the walk.  At this point I was only halfway around the circuit and already my lightweight walking trousers were soaking wet.  The torso was OK which meant the chances of hyperthermia was remote.  Just as I was starting to feel sorry for myself a young lady appeared from the opposite direction heading towards the hills.  She was jogging and dressed in T-shirt and shorts listening to an iPod.  I suddenly started to feel good knowing someone else was probably going to feel colder than me.

Eventually a church appeared and I thought I’d reached Marsworth only to realise this church had a spire.  It obviously wasn’t the church at Marsworth which has a norman tower.  The route took me south across fields to re-join the canal at the swing bridge Jan had struggled with previously.  I perked up knowing I was very close to the boat.  Then I reach the Dunstable & District Boating Club and the penny dropped.  I was considerably further away from the boat.  Actually I was two days cruising away from Waiouru.  Oh well….. The exercise will do me good….. Even if I was starting to feel cold and miserable!  Smile


Halfie said...

Not much likelihood of hyperthermia in this weather, Tom, unless you had too many layers on and were engaging in vigorous exercise! Hypothermia perhaps.

Tom and Jan said...

A couple of letters can make all the difference :-)