The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Tuesday 13 June - Varnæshoved and Hejlsminde, Denmark

(As today involved a couple of strollettes, I'm replicating here today's post from our travel blog (thegateposts.blogspot.com).)

Last night's kipping spot at Varnæshoved was a remote one: a picnic area at the end of a dirt road, the best part of a kilometre off a remote single-track road. Amongst its good points was the presence of an information sign setting out the waymarked walks in the area, and whilst I couldn't read any of the descriptions, I could understand the route distances and the accompanying map:



A look at Open Street Map (via ViewRanger) confirmed that the paths were shown, so after downloading a couple of tiles we were well equipped for an amble around the headland.

Happily, the light rain stopped by the time we stepped out of the door, but the grass was still wet as we walked the 100m or so to the beach.

Didn't take a snap this morning, but here's one I took last night

I commented last night, as I looked out to sea through Bertie's windscreen, that if I had been abducted by aliens and plonked in this location, I would have guessed that I was on the east coast of Scotland somewhere. We'd not gone far up the coast this morning before the presence of a thatched cottage had me amend that impression to 'maybe somewhere in England':

It was only the presence of signs in a language we don't understand that gave the game away that we are somewhere foreign.

A turn inland, away from the beach, and through a beech wood we passed...


...taking a little diversion on the way to visit a long barrow (ancient burial site):


This area is well provisioned with parking and picnic areas. The one shown below was vast, and could easily have been a campsite, particularly with the decent toilet facilities that are there:


Through a turnstile into a field...


...and through another one at the other side, we then temporarily abandoned the red route, taking instead to the yellow route so that we could walk right across the headland. The map told me that by going that way we would walk the length of a lake, which I thought would be picturesque. The reality was a walk through beech woods with barely a glimpse of the water.

Past another thatched cottage...

...and a little way along the road, the map said we would rejoin the coast to complete our circuit of the headland and I was looking forward to more nice coastal views. Alas, we were again a little disappointed, not by the fact that we were skirting crop fields per se, but because of the height of the boundary hedges standing in the few yards between us and the cliff edge...

...with just the occasional gap giving us the view we wanted:

Late autumn or spring is probably the best time for this walk, when everything isn't in full leaf.

Even with the addition of a bit of the yellow route to the advertised red route, our outing only came in at 5 miles with the gentle undulations amounting to around 120m of ascent.

Being now well after 11, Mick wasted no time in preparing elevenses. Jam was smeared onto croissants and coffee made, but it didn't go well. Biting into my jam-laden croissant I discovered that it was stuffed with ham and cheese, and drinking my coffee I discovered that Mick had forgotten to remove the two slices of lemon which had languished in my mug from my previous two drinks. I can report that lemon coffee is a far worse taste sensation than a savoury croissant with jam.

Time to move on and there had been a loose plan of visiting the town of Kolding next, but at the last minute I decided that another seaside location was more what I fancied than a walk around a town, and Mick was happy with either option (laid back chap that he is), so the seaside won.

In our new location, another strollette was taken this afternoon, featuring a beach with a swimming jetty...


...but I haven't ventured out with my swimming costume, even though a hand in the water suggested that it's not outrageously cold.

We may have only been in Denmark for a little over 24 hours, but my observation so far, based on today's walks and the drive in between them (for which we didn't take the motorway, no matter how much the SatNav tried to make us) is that there are two industries that must be thriving in this country: those involved in the manufacture and provision of flag poles and picnic benches. The whole place also seems to be remarkably clean, possibly related to the presence of so many litter bins (although that can't be the whole story - how many times at home do we see coffee cups or McDonald's bags dropped five paces away from the nearest bin?)

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Summer Tour 2017

All is likely to be quiet here this summer, as we're away in Bertie-the-Motorhome, with Norway being the main objective. I will probably write a few words here when we do something that merits inclusion under the 'M&G Go For A Walk' banner, but otherwise news of where we are and what we're doing will be on t'other blog at thegateposts.blogspot.com.

Since leaving home last Sunday we've journeyed down to Folkestone (via lunch with friends) and spent a couple of days in France, really just killing time until an appointment in Belgium. A run around the seaside town of Wissant and a walk around the walled town of Bergues featured in those days.

Tuesday was an exceedingly dull day sitting in a motorhome dealership in Kortrijk, Belgium, whilst some warranty repairs were carried out on Bertie. The following day saw us take a morning run alongside the river in Kortrijk, then a walk around the town, before we headed nearer to our ultimate destination. We broke our journey at Antwerp, spending a couple of nights there.

Heavy rain lashed us on Friday morning, making it a good driving day and by the time we had left Belgium, crossed the Netherlands, battled traffic on the German motorways and arrived in Dülmen the sun was out.

Two visits were made to the nearby lake, one at a walk on Friday evening, the other at a run yesterday morning. With the perimeter path being 5km long, it's a shame that ParkRun hasn't yet reached Germany.

Bright and early this morning off we set for another long drive (long by our usual 'on tour' standards), which landed us in Kaltenkirchen, just north of Hamburg, where the high-twenties temerature feels much warmer than the same temperature felt yesterday. Must be the humidity.

When we leave here we will either end our journey in Denmark or in the last town in Germany before the border.