21 January 2011 – walking with swans


I set off nice and early this morning just after it got light. It was frosty and freezing so I wrapped up warm in my parka and long eared hat. My breath came out in white clouds as I walked. 

There weren’t many people around when I reached the park but the swans were there all puffed up looking very cold. There were a couple who kept rising up out of the water and spreading their wings wide. I wondered if they were males enacting some kind of courtship display, either that or they were having a good stretch.

My swans were right down by Woodmill and the cygnet is almost all White now. He has just a few grey feathers on his wing tips. 

By the time I crossed the little bridge and set off along Mansbridge road towards the airport the sun was hardly up and the frost still on the ground. It didn’t seem to take very long to reach the Swan Centre at Eastleigh but by then I needed to stop off for the loo and to grab a bottle of water because I’d left mine at home.

Feeling much better I pressed on. I actually meant to head towards Twyford but was in a bit of a dream and missed the turn and ended up going towards Chandlers Ford. I was in the village there when I checked my GPS and saw I’d reached the half way Mark of 7.5 miles. 

I felt a little lost when I got back towards Eastleigh because of the wrong turn I’d taken but soon found my bearings and was at the Swan Centre again.

The homeward straight lay ahead, back past the airport and then the river. 

The sun was shining up off the water as I walked back along the river and I wished I’d worn my sunglasses. I’d have looked a bit stupid earlier on if I had though. When I got back to my own front door I’d not quite done the whole 15 miles. I’m not sure how I manged to walk less distance on the way back but I ended up walking halfway up the little hill and back to make up the miles. 

All in all I walked 15.2 miles in 4 hours and 1 minute. Not bad going with two loo stops and a shop and I seem to be on target for my moonwalk time of 7 to 8 hours. My feet are aching a bit but I’m just off with Commando to walk over the Big Bridge to help my son Bard move into his new flat. No rest for the wicked eh?

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