Yesterday morning I gathered up my strength and headed out for a walk to the white horse hill from Jeremy and Marie’s house. I took a picture of the map, but I ended up taking the long route of getting there. I was mad for a few minutes just because I always get lost, but the scenery and the weather turned out to be just perfect. Not one rain drop! I slipped through a lot of the muddy trail, and made my way to the top of the windy hill. I was nervous that I was going the wrong way, but I could point out the church and the wind towers that I saw the first time i had been there, so it was only a matter of time before there was a sign that I had arrived. I sat on a bench within the grounds to let Jeremy know I had made it. He offered to come pick me up, but I felt defeated at the fact that I couldn’t properly find my way here. So I turned down the offer and headed out to find the right trail to get back. I ended up asking a nice lady walking her dog, and she gave me directions plus a full history of the trail. Apparently, I would be taking the bronze trail, which is around 5,000 years old! The return journey was a 100% success, and twice as beautiful. Walking through an open field of grass with nothing to be seen, then walking along a freshly turned running track for the horses. Just perfect. My poor running shoes will not be making the next journey.
I stopped in at the pub in between where most of the horse farms and jockey clubs are. I was welcomed by a lady with a group of people who recognized me walking from when she rode past me with her horses. The group was amazed of how far I had walked, and invited me to sit with them. I ordered a cup of tea with a leek and potato soup, and tried to defrost my hands and face. They were all posh looking people sharing some wine and gossiping about people and horses, of course. They asked me where I was from, who my family down here were, and where I was headed to next. When I told them that I was planning on leaving to Manchester the next day (today) The old man suggested that I hitch a ride with the man sitting next to him, named wally. He was headed up there by car to go to the Manchester United game because his friend who has executive season tickets gives them to him all the time. He asked me if I wanted to go, and I said that it sounds fun. I was not giving a yes or no answer because it sounded like a great opportunity, but I don’t have the best luck with how these things turn out. When he stepped outside, the woman leaned in and told me not to worry, that they were not sending me off with a bad person. I actually believed it. They really did seem like a nice group. I was also offered to ride one of the yearlings if I was staying longer in Lamborn ( another young man at the table who is a former jockey and now trains his own string of horses) he asked me how much I weighed, and since I grew up riding Arabians, he said they act about the same so I should be ok. I am bummed that I can’t go! Anyway, I finished my soup, took down wallys number and headed out. I walked down the road and through the old cricket ground with the old man, (Evelyn?? Very thick accent) and he lectured me for walking to fast and that I can’t enjoy where I am going at such a “speed” he stopped every time we bumped into someone, and would stop and tell his dog to go swimming in the flooded fields. He own several horses in Lambourn. Classic thoroughbred racing culture outfit too. Wellies, tweed jacket, flat cap, black Labrador at his side. We were now off in different directions and said our goodbyes and he wished me the best of luck with everything. Very nice.
I washed off all the muck of myself, and Jeremy, Marie and I went into Newbury to have my last dinner. We went to a carvery, and it was just perfect after a long hike. I had some turkey, and a huge amount of purple cabbage, leeks, carrots, and swede. Very filling.
This morning I was getting ready, and pretty excited that I had decided to get a lift to Manchester and watch the game. That saves me £25 to take the train up and could go towards a day trip somewhere! Then I got a phone cal from Wally that he was called for a job and couldn’t make it to Manchester. DARN! Back to plan A. (I can see the look of relief on Les’s face!)That would have been fun to watch ANOTHER Sunderland Man U game, since that’s the game I watched two years ago. Unless they lost, again.
Anyway, all in all, I met a great group of people in Lambourn and they asked me to keep in touch for when I return to visit on the Good Friday opening day.
Now off to Manchester!!