Today is March 23rd, 2019 and once again my dad decided to bring me to another one of his favourite walks. He knows this area well and has walked this area many times. I now understand why.
So. Very. Beautiful.
We began walking at 10 am. My dad explained the route he’d chose is about 6 miles, but there’s an option to lengthen it later. We were having such a lovely day and by late morning, we opted to extend our walk.
The walk immediately started with an uphill walk. There’s always a reward for your efforts while walking in the Cotswolds. Looking back we could see the beautiful landscape below- patchwork of various greens and yellows against a blue sky. I won’t get tired of this kind of view. In a farm field below, sheep dogs were busy herding sheep and this was fun to watch.
The walk then followed a rural paved road for quite a while. On either side of the road were farm fields, and we spotted rabbits, hawks hunting (hopefully not for the rabbits!), deer and again so many birds singing. I enjoyed watching the simple yet dramatic beauty of the cloud shadows move across the bright green fields. It was mesmerizing. The clouds today were once again those giant white fluffy cartoon clouds. I’m enjoying the big open sky here.
Our walk followed the famous Cotswold Way for a while and we finally met a couple of other walkers. We haven’t bumped into many other walkers on this trip. It feels as though we have the trails to ourselves! But I enjoy talking to people and my dad is a great conversation starter. He really loves to connect with people and I appreciate this.
Next, the path led to an ancient monument site called Belas Knap. A neolithic (3000 B.C.) burial site. 30+ burials and many artifacts were excavated here. We sat on the grassy barrow in the shade, and had a drink. The day was getting very warm.
The rest of the day was spent walking up and down valleys, and traversing more fields. There were many stiles to climb over and gates to swing open. There were a few small forests (coppices) that provided cool shade. One farmer along our walk didn’t maintain the pathway through his field, so for a little while my dad thought maybe he led us astray. But sure enough he was on the right path and we found our next gate, hidden in the bushes. I am astonished how well my dad knows this area! He is a perfect guide and travel companion. We chat here and there, and then we fall into a comfortable silence. Sometimes I walk ahead and I get lost in my own thoughts. He too is lost in his.
By the end of the day, our walk was 14 km long. I’ll admit, the last couple of kilometres were a slog. The heat got to us. Let me remind you that my dad is 72. I’m *only* 44 so I cannot complain too loudly about sore feet when my dad is happily truckin’ along. But it’s a good kind of tired. The best kind. This is living fully and I know my dad and I both feel the same sense of aliveness and gratitude while walking these trails.
“It’s a good day to be alive” we say at least once a day.