Walked: 27 July 2008
Distance: 36 miles
Total time: 14 hours
I planned this South Derbyshire walk to be 30 miles, but because I didn't measure it accurately beforehand, and also because of some incompetent planning, the total at the end of the day was 36 miles. I'm so pleased about this because I've had the Ivanhoe Way as my goal for 3 years, and that's 36 miles, so I now know I can do the distance.
This was a very hot day. We started very early (started walking at 6:30), which was the coolest part of the day, but you can see by the reflection in this pond just how still the air was.
It seemed a little early for wild fruit, but to our surprise, there were quite a few wild raspberries around. It was a real pleasure to pick a couple of handfuls and eat them on the way.
The sky wasn't blue all day. by the time we arrived at Staunton Harold reservoir, there was a little bit of hazy cloud, but you can still see very still water between the algae.
I also felt that it was a little bit early for harvest and straw bales scattered around stubble fields, but this was obviously a good weekend for getting the wheat in.
We covered the very flat but easy-walking surfaced paths of the Cloud Trail and the Trent and Mersey Canal towpath during the hottest part of the day. Shade was scarce, but when we did find some it was very welcome.
These strange squid-like creatures are weeds at the bottom of the River Trent. This photo taken from the Cloud Trail's bridge over the Trent shows just how clear the water was today.
From the same spot, this beautiful view shows more harvesting.
I love dragonflies and damselflies. This fellow with dark spots on his wings was irridescent and changed colour from rich blue to emerald green according to the direction of the light.
My plan was to continue through Willington and leave the canal by Newton Solney. The map below shows how we found ourselves on the wrong side of the Trent with no bridge for miles! I have been caught out like this before, so shouldn't have fallen for it again. We did trespass across a field to find a footbridge which is marked on the map, but the bridge was well secured. A bit tired by now, we had to re-trace our steps to Willington and cross the river there, leaving this very strange appendage at the top-right of our route: