This is stage three of the Hit The North expedition.
I picked up the trail in the fenland town of March. The route out of the town is very pretty, it follows a path between cottages and gardens with the river in sight most of the way.
After an hour or so I was out in the countryside, feasting myself on blackberries as I went along. At one point the footpath took me through someone’s back garden, which felt a little odd. The owner of the house came out and said hello though didn’t stop for a chat.
While the scenery wasn’t dramatic the bright autumn sun gave things a rosy glow and I was happy just strolling along, out in the open, after two weeks of being indoors with a cold.
At one point I came across a rabbit eating grass on the middle of the river bank. Usually rabbits scurry away as soon as I arrive on the scene but this one continued to calmly nibble away at his lunch. It was only when I was right next to the rabbit did I notice the poor thing was blind. I wonder how long he’ll survive like that?
After five miles the path leaves the Nene and heads northwards along a drove. It was a bit of a slog, the drove felt as if it would never end. I found myself caught up in several weather fronts in quick succession Fierce winds and rain followed quiet spells of sun, rainbows shimmered on the horizon.
The endless drove ended up in the village of Turves. The wind and the rain had picked up and the sun was now hidden behind a thick layer of cloud. There was not one person to be found on the streets of the village, it felt like a ghost town. I ate my sandwiches in the lonely bus shelter.
I left Turves and marched up the road to the bank of the ’20 Foot Drain’. The rain and wind pounded down, my feet and trousers were quickly water-logged. To keep my spirits up I sang marching songs at the top of my voice. These included:
- ‘White Man in Hammersmith Palais’ by The Clash
- ‘Saturday Night Beneath the Plastic Palm Trees’ by the Leyton Buzzards
- ‘Waiting for my Man’ by the Velvet Underground
- ‘Tombstone Blues’ – Bob Dylan
I eventually reached the watery crossroads that signalled the start of the end of the hike. A few wet miles later I arrived in Whittlesey. I spotted the ‘Sunshine Cafe’ in the town square and was soon warming up with a good cuppa tea.
An enjoyable walk, the 12 miles took it out of me somewhat and I was feeling pretty knackered on my return home. Still have to pick up strength after being ill for a couple of weeks. Only one more stage of fenland walking until I’m in Lincolnshire, hurrah!