Trip Start Oct 10, 2008
71Trip End Ongoing
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For some reason I took a wrong turn on the way to British Camp car park. I had to ask directions from a pair of dust-bin men, who told me it was 15 minutes along a lane. Panicking, I whizzed along it, hoping the King's walking group wouldn't have left already. In the end, we were there in two minutes, and I needn't have worried.
I had a pair of Russian house-guests, Sergey and Regina, who had come with me. They spoke a little English, but it was often a struggle for them and they tended to keep themselves to themselveswalk.)
It didn't take long to get to the top of the hill. The view was excellent. We could see all along the ridge of hills spread out in the distance in front of us. We turned our back on them and headed for the south end of the range. A bit of bog-hopping later and we ended up on Midsummer Hill, sheltering behind a concrete windbreak. It was a part of the hills I'd not been on before.
John, the leader, tends to like to keep the route a secret. I have no idea why. Maybe it gives him a sense of control. Anyway, I've learnt not to get left behind if you don't know where you are going. Hamish, on the other hand, has not yet cottoned on to this. It doesn't help that he is going both deaf and daft. Shortly after leaving Midsummer Hill, heading down into the woods, Hamish disappeared. There were two problems with this. Firstly, as the group was now strung out in a line, no-one noticed he'd gone for a while
David went on a mission to find him. The rest of us had lunch by the water-filled, and possibly appropriately named Gullet Quarry. The sun failed to make it to the ground here, so we were in shadow. This didn't bother me particularly, but the overly optimistic Rupert, wearing his shorts, was feeling the breeze. It's January, man! What were you thinking?!
Just as David finally came back with Hamish, we set off again. Hamish, it appeared, had been found by a local family, who had then left a message on David's home phone, which meant he had had to find their house. Hamish had been having a lovely time with another spaniel and a couple of their kids.
We carried on, along the wooded path. There was a brief moment of amusement, when we came across a sign asking for any news of a pair of lost dentures. Sergey started to flag at this point and said he needed training to do this length of walk. His legs hurt. There was nothing I could do about it, so I told him to have a hot bath when we got in.
At the next rest spot, David refused to move until he'd had lunch. John, keeping to his policy of liking to surprise people, didn't mention that we were about 500m from the car park we'd started at. The total walk ended up being just about 6 miles, mostly on the level, apart from the first hoik up British Camp. We adjourned to the Malvern Hills Hotel for a drink and to rest the Russians' aching limbs.