Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Cumbria Pastoral 2

Despite my fears of the cold I’m quite warm enough in the little tent, and sleep well. I’m up early and set off walking at 7am. One mile to the road end at Cumwitton, then two miles – this time along the right road – to Great Corby and Wetheral. Where I’m sure there will be a café. The moon’s still visible in the sky 

and the day feels so fresh, the sun so – new and quiet as if no-one has really noticed it yet, it moves through the sky, a peaceable blue, and an as yet undiscovered morning. Lucky me, to be able to share this secret and this light, with the sun. 

And this morning, early and privileged to share this time with the sun, the dew on the grass and fields, the fields with wheat, the fields with cut grass not yet collected and put in the deep-sided trailers pulled by the tractors with the enormous wheels that thunder up the narrow roads, the bare fields, stubble fields, and the fallow fields, with reddish-pink flowers and the regular grass fields that the cows graze in or sit in, cud-chewing, all of these are dew-covered and witness the early sun, that so few people have noticed yet.

And walking in this early morning, joy sidles into me, not suddenly but slowly, it moves into me, with the rhythm of walking and the quiet of morning, only a few cars pass. Beech trees and sycamores rustle in wind. Willow trees sprout from the hedges. Green beeches and copper ones and purple-leaved ones and hybrids of greenish brown. But the walking is hard. And I think – I have to come back, as well.

Great Corby has an old red-stone square, charming old houses. It’s not far to the level crossing and there’s a path running beside the train tracks, to Wetheral. 

A pedestrian walkway beside the rail bridge and the most wonderful view – Best-View Bridge – over the river Eden.

Then the small station. 

And I cross over the bridge and up to the Posting Pot cafe, adjacent to the Post Office.

After walking three miles you really appreciate your first coffee of the day. I’m amazed at how much better I feel after coffee and scrambled eggs on toast. Strength comes back to me and I enjoy walking now, another two miles along a small road that meets up with the river near Warwick Bridge.

From there, I take a bus to the small town of Brampton. I’m on a roll now, and I walk up a hill overlooking the town 

and then on along the Ridgeway, through a glorious wood of beech trees. 


I would have liked to walk further, but I know that once I’m back at Warwick Bridge, I have another 5 mile walk to get home. And on the way back, I go over the railway bridge to Wetheral again, just to see that magnificent view of the river.

Well, not just for that reason, but to get another coffee from the Posting Pot. And then a short walk to see Saint Cuthbert’s Well. 

And between Great Corby and Cumwitton there’s a signposted path which I take, to get away from walking on the road. But no-one seems to have walked this way in a long time, it’s hardly a path, it’s the edge of a field, covered with long grasses, plants and nettles. 

Towards the end of this 'path' it goes alongside a field with a horse in it.

Nearly home now. Just a mile and a half to go.


am said...

Good walk. I enjoyed it. Thank you so much for this record of that walk. Yes. Coffee changes everything when that tired feeling comes over me and my mind grows dim and moody. I didn't drink coffee regularly until I was 30 years old. I drank way too much the first time I tried it when I was younger and experienced severe anxiety and jitters. What a revelation to drink a single cup to keep myself awake when I returned to college at age 30 and to feel entirely awake and alive for the first time in my life!

dritanje said...

I agree am, that coffee is a life saver. I don't think I have ever had to walk 3 miles for a cup of coffee before (at least since the days of hitch-hiking in Europe decades ago and even then...) but it made it all the more welcome. And I so appreciated what I usually take for granted as something that I can have pretty much when I want it.
Glad you enjoyed the walk!