Day 42: 04 May 2014; Kirkham to Cabus Nook

Day 42: 04 May 2014; Kirkham to Cabus Nook
Walk descriptor LEJOG2014 Day 42
Date Sun 04 May 2014 Start to end time 06h 05m
Start point Kirkham End point Cabus Nook
Miles today 16.07 Cu miles 787.78
Ft today 329 Cu ft 113,566
Route miles left 692.67 Route ft left  84,079
Today’s weather Light overnight rain, dry morning, drizzle in afternoon. Overcast. Light Southerly breeze
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Today’s location
(the red cross in a circle shows where I am at the moment)
GPX based track of today’s walk
(click here to access to access downloadable file)

Towards the end of yesterday’s walk, I’d noticed that the big toe on my right foot was starting to feel sore. When I walked to the pub in the evening, it felt worse so I just assumed – here we go again, another unexplained blister in the making. When I got up in the morning I took a look at my toe to apply my patent blister treatment and noticed that there seemed to be something stuck into it. After a bit of digging with my penknife (if you are medically qualified you may want to look away at this point), I removed a 5mm thorn that somehow had managed to find its way through my boots and socks and into my toe. The relief was instant and it’s given me no trouble at all today. And once again, I thanked my lucky stars that I hadn’t ditched my Leatherman, in an early effort to save weight.

The rest of the walk was actually pretty uneventful. After my overnight camp (which I have to say I think was a bit pricey at £10 for what was essentially just a field with a tap!) I re-joined the canal bank and followed the Lancaster canal all day. The big advantages of canal banks are that they are flat and you can’t get lost. But they can be a bit boring and you have to watch where you put your feet, as they are frequently used by dog-walkers and they tend to leave evidence of their passing all over the path. But today’s walk made for speedy progress and I had enough time to stop in a pub for a cup of tea and very welcome bacon sandwich on the way.

The canal itself was interesting with boat traffic and lots of activity. I was reflecting on the fact that it has no locks and so at 50-odd miles, I guess in one sense you could also regard it as Britain’s longest (and thinnest) lake. The canal is about 220 years old and in an effort to avoid locks, the architects had built aqueducts at a number of points to span the lower rivers. Crossing a river some 40 feet below you, whilst walking alongside a canal, was a very odd experience. The architect was John Rennie, and these aqueducts are impressive structures.

The fields and hedgerows are still bursting into life – though I noticed that the bluebells are already beginning to pass their peak and they are being replaced in the undergrowth by the considerably less attractive and most unwelcome stinging nettle. I’m walking in shorts and these vicious plants can be a real nuisance on less well-used paths. I fear I may have to resort to wearing over-trousers again in particularly overgrown sections.

Tonight I’m in a campsite with proper hot showers, which is great. So now I am feeling a lot cleaner – and probably smelling a lot better – than at this time yesterday. And a nearby camper, a cyclist training for a LEJOG cycle ride, has just made me a cup of tea. Couldn’t be better! Another short day into Lancaster, tomorrow, seeing friends and staying in a B&B. You know, sometimes this almost feels like being on holiday!!

Today’s photos (click to enlarge)
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Curious rotating bridge over canal near Swillbrook Saw plenty of these today Often wondered if they are related to Geese or to Ducks. Or if they are just Swans.
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The signposts were all the wrong way round – they showed how far you had come from your starting point, not how far it was to your destination The rain and warm weather has brought the stinging nettles out. Ouch!
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Bluebells were in abundance again today – but already now they are slightly past their best On the canalside approaching Cabus Nook this evening
The Wyre aqueduct – a river over a river – built by John Rennie and opened in 1797.
The previous day’s blog follows below the blue line
Solid line blue