Right on your doorstep

In my previous blog (Karma has dealt me a hard hand), I was talking about how enlightened I felt about letting go of spending habits. Tightening my belt due to my contract ending and recent run of bad luck. Well, I had great news on Friday that my contract is now being renewed and I can breath a little easier.

In light of this news and knowing most of the issues are behind me, I  thought instead of window shopping on-line I might as well treat myself to a new pair of walking boots. Heck, I’ll even treat Kate as well. Still, I’m going to go cheap and look for a deal. I’m not out of the woods until I’ve signed the dotted line. I know you may think this is a little hypocritical of me but walking saves on fuel so the belt is still tight and I’m helping the environment. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking with it!

After watching an interesting talk by Andrew Skurka (http://youtu.be/FGQTcQhL08A), he mentions how breathable footwear is often a better option to choose. Taking the advice of an expert I opted for a breathable boot.  For many long hours I searched, cross referenced and with apprehension, I settled on the Karrimor Men’s Bodmin Mid III Weatherlite Trekking and Hiking Boots. And they did the ladies version too!

Hiking Boots

Hiking BootsPrices on most boots were in the £40 – £80* range and the top brands over £100* . So I was lucky to see these at a reduced price of £24.99 for the mens and £27.64 for the ladies. (Not sure why my larger man size boots were cheaper than the ladies as they are the same except for the colour and size). I saw a bargain and took it. And so the next day they arrived ready for a small trek to break them in.

“to play golf is to spoil an otherwise enjoyable walk”.

There is a trail where I live that is known by some of the locals. It doesn’t show up on Google Maps and most people wouldn’t know it existed.  I’ve lived here for over twelve years and to my pleasure, I  found out about it last week just by chance. The trail takes you through a few alleyways before you emerge near the brow of a hill, revealing St. Bartholomew’s church which the Doomsday book mentions from Norman times. Lady Godivas Cross looms upwards outside the church entrance and stands on a stone base from earlier Anglo-Saxon times. From there a small lane lies almost secluded and unnoticed by passers-by. Walking down this lane you eventually pass two cottages and a turnstile leading into a field with grazing horses.  We passed through a few of these fields and the horses were inquisitive enough to come over to greet us.

Horse in fileds of buttercupsFoxglove

The final turnstile meets up with a golf course which we walk across via allocated paths. This land has always been under alleged dispute as it is a golf course on grazing and common land. I don’t really want to get into that argument but I think H.S Scrivener once wrote “to play golf is to spoil an otherwise enjoyable walk”.  I agree.

Across the other side of the golf course we enter some gates, cross a wooden bridge over a gently flowing brook and eventually to open fields with a slowly increasing incline. The grass is long and we can hear a live band in the distance singing a good rendition of Stereophonics “Have a nice Day”.  (One of my favourite holiday songs). Eventually, nearing the top of the field you turn around to see beautiful vista of the area and hills in the far distance.

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Carrying on we emerge onto a main road across which is the entrance to Baggeridge Country Park. This is another hike through woodland eventually ending at Himley Manor house. I believe the walk is approximately 3.4 miles, so with a return journey its a respectable 6.8 miles. All this on my own doorstep.

So, how did the boots fair? Well, I had no blisters and  no discomfort. They seem durable but I couldn’t test the waterproofing. I would assume this covers you in showers rather than pools of water. Even so my feet would dry quicker with breathable boots rather than non-breathable boots. Time will tell if these boots will stand up to harsher trails but for now I’ll enjoy putting them through their paces.

(*excluding VAT)

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