Stroll from the Horse and Groom around Mortimer (walk 13)
- severe inclines
- special equipment other than a stout pair of shoes and a drink and some snacks
- unfit people such as myself breaking out in a sweat, huffing and puffing…
By contrast, a ‘Ramble’ requires a bright Goretext jacket, Hiking boots, thick wool socks, a walking pole, gloves and all sorts of fancy accessories. I know this becuase I turned up at the head of a ramble arranged by the Berkshire ramblers association where a flock of brightly Goretexed people were circling a style at the trail head.
I looked at my lack of Goretex and all terrain hiking boots. This equipment has been hibernating in my cupboard since leaving the mountain ranges of the NW USA. Temporarily downhearted, I decided to work my way up to releasing my rambling gear with a few less imposing, walks. The idea of some morning strolls with the help of Nick Channers book of Pub Strolls in Berkshire raised my spirits.
If the stroller can follow the instructions provided, “Walk 13″ is a 3 1/4 mile stoll that starts and ends at the Horse and Groom in Mortimer. It’s a problem solving challenge to follow a map that is not to scale and omits a lot of key landmarks.
Very quickly I discovered that my walk was actually likely to be 6 miles, the extra distance caused by going the wrong way, realising it, and retracing my steps and trying another option. This could me more healthy than I’d anticipates!
I never managed to get to the 3rd marker point, several unmarked junctions near the “N” north sign proved too distracting.
The latter part of my walk turned from problem solving into a creative fiction.
It all ended well, at lunch time in the Horse and Groom. A substantial Victorian pub with a classic 1970′s decor, decent real ales and a rather good chef.