I keep playing the song I quoted in my last post, which is here. I think it’s brilliant. I remember liking it at the time, even though I had no idea what triggered it. There was no Internet in those days. Oh well, on to day 3.

***

You know how it goes. He says, “What sort of walk do you want to do today?” You say, “Nothing too strenuous for the first day.” He says “Oh,” in a slightly mournful tone and you realise he wanted you to endorse his decision but you’ve just done the opposite.

“You’ve decided on a walk, haven’t you,” you say.

“Well, I thought we’d do the walk round the peninsular from Reiff. There’s hardly any climbing in it.”

He shows you the map. It looks long, you’re not in practice, you haven’t worn those hiking boots for a long time. You know it’s a bad idea. “All right,” you say behind a false smile. “Good,” he says behind a real one.

The flat walk, as you’d expected, isn’t really flat. It’s boggy. Each time the ground drops to a bog, you have to climb up the other side. Sometimes you have to jump across to avoid getting wet. Nineteen kilometres would have been plenty in normal terrain.

Then there’s what you’re walking on. It’s not a path. It’s more the sort of thing a guide book would call rich vegetation: long grass, areas of little bushes, anything that requires you to lift your feet higher than you would on a normal walk. This is no walk in Switzerland, where you went last year. There are no paths here; just land.

You see no one else the whole time. And he’s always well ahead of you. You like the quiet. And worry about being so isolated.

Finally civilisation appears in the form of several cars in a car park. “There’s a camping site here,” he says. “Maybe there’s a little café where we can get some tea.” You walk over to it, but there’s no little café. You walk back to the car park.

The tramp back to the car is along the road. It’s long. Towards the end, apart from the places where your feet have been getting rubbed during the whole walk, something is digging into your left foot.

But the Victorian bath in the house is delightful. It’s so long, you can lie in it fully stretched. Last time you stayed there, you didn’t have time for the bath between the children, the food, washing up and washing clothes. Now, you revel in this bit of luxury. And while you’re getting dressed and combing your hair, he makes supper. He even shares out while you sit. Luton Airport? No – paradise!

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