Friday, September 18, 2009

Marching The Malverns

Almost the last instalment of Dong's birthday weekend away; thank you for your patience.

Sunday morning found us once again indulging in a slap up breakfast before gathering our goods and chattels and de-camping to The Railway Inn at Malvern Wells (sadly, due to a booking cock-up, we could only stay two nights in the lovely apartment at Park View).
The Millbrooker-Sis did her taxi impersonation and loaded her little wagon up with all our luggage, including Dong, and sped off towards her wi-i infested abode; leaving Mrs The Millbrooker, Shazzerooneypoos and me to head in that direction by shanks' pony until she returned to pick us up about halfway. We arrived to find Dong and Sleepy-Old-Go-To-Bed in deep (if moderately hung-over) conversation over a cup of coffee on the patio.Luggage safely stored, we all piled into the Sis-mobile (except Sleepy who cried off a route march over the ridge of the Malverns on the grounds of excess booze the night before) and headed off for the start point of our chosen route.

This is quite close to the beginning of our odyssey; the Malvern Hills just beginning to slope upwards and away. Sis is on the right in the foreground with Mrs The Millbrooker just in front; Dong and Shazzerooneypoos are mere dots on the slightly higher path between the two.The ridgeway is an undulating affair with very little level walking; you're either climbing some fairly severe slopes or edging carefully downwards on some quite precipitous descents - proper walking boots are more or less essential in my 'umble. Here's Sherpa Shazzer, toting the supplies on her small but strong little back, at the summit of one of the climbs.And here's the view from a southern peak towards The Worcestershire Beacon (our first target).There's a pass about three or four miles from our start point, before the serious climb up the The Beacon, where we stopped and met up with Sleepy for a mid-walk bracener. Here's three of us heading uphill and thinking of a beer at The Wyche Inn.The freshener was soon being glugged in the welcoming Wyche...

...and soon thereafter we bade farewell to The Millbrooker-Sis who didn't fancy the mighty climb to come and headed homeward with Sleepy. We headed onwards and upwards... ...and finally summited; Dong and the Sherpa got there first (and shared the experience with half the population of the Midlands - it was a nice sunny Sunday and this is a popular spot); Mrs The Millbrooker and I joined them in a nice sit down on some sharpish rocks very soon after.
So, we'd achieved the target of getting to the top of The Worcestershire Beacon, but we wanted a bit more - so we clambered down to the north col and rounded Sugar Loaf Hill before scrambling up to the summit of North Hill. This was the last peak of the day (The Beacon is in the background).
Needless to say, we settled gratefully onto the benches outside The Red Lion after our descent from the dizzying heights and enjoyed another wee slurpette before (to use Dong's word) schlepping along the road for a couple of miles to our accommodation for the night at The Railway Inn and enjoying another nice the company of Russell the landlord; a man who enjoys words and was pleased to learn all about feagueing and blissoming and numerous other obscurities from our wonderful lexicon.Time has run out on my writing activities, so I'll have to report back on the evening meal, accommodation and breakfast plus our journey homeward in another posting. Until then...

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