Friday, October 17, 2014

Finding OUR Way in Lower Slaughter

Yes, there are villages called Lower and Upper Slaughter! Yesterday I left you while I was sitting on a stile having a snack. The reason I chose to stop there was because there were a few people on the trail and I decided to stop and let them get ahead of me. That, and there were very few places to sit along the way so when I saw one I would take advantage of it.

One of my goals on this journey was to do it all on my own. Find my own way, interpret and follow the maps and route details on my own. Be independent. Build some confidence in myself. Show myself that I can do it. And I did...mostly...though this time I did actually need some help. So...I guess I also learned that it's ok to ask for help when I need it! 

I just loved this tree - it was across from me while I had my snack. I wandered around the field a bit taking photos. 

 Photos of these cows, for example. It's hard to tell but they are on the other side of a fence.
Another view of that amazing tree from straight on and a little closer...

 Off in the distance a lovely farmhouse.
Yet another tree - a friend has told me these trees on their own are called "wolf" trees! I didn't know that!
 Going through a gate - you can see why sometimes it gets confusing - I was on the Heart of England Way but there were 2 other "ways" intersecting at this point. MUST stay on the RIGHT path!!
 You can't see it very well in this picture but the gate isn't just standing on its own - there are wires you can't really see - ohhhhh, an electric fence!!
 To keep these guys contained... I guess I'll keep to the gate!

WOW, another fantastic tree!!
 And there's another gate I think I need to go through but I've been so busy with my camera that I'm not 100% sure I'm at the right spot...
 oooooooh I need a picture of THAT tree!!
 Oh look, the cows are on the move!
They're headed back to their barn I guess, follow the leader!
 At this point I realized I was lost. Well, not really lost...just not exactly where I needed to be. I had walked through a number of fields and a number of gates but my focus hadn't been completely on my map! And I wasn't sure where I had gotten off track!

 I think it was somewhere in the 3rd paragraph:
"Go through FG (field gate) and head towards a KG (kissing gate) (see pic left X) on the far side (ignore track leading to the farm buildings); go through KG by a track; cross the track, through a second KG and bear left to FG. Head across the field to KG in the far right hand corner; in the next field bear right and follow the path towards the field boundary ahead. Before the FG turn left and follow the hedge for 30m to a footbridge on your right into the adjacent field......"

Usually when a photo is inserted into a map it's to help clear up vague instructions and that should have signalled me to pay closer attention! One of the strategies they tell you if you think you're lost is to backtrack until you see something that you recognize from the map and then start again. Well, I didn't really feel like doing that.  After a few minutes of wandering around I saw a couple on the other side of the field. I went over to them and they were trying to follow instructions from his GPS on his phone. They were looking for the hedge and the footbridge too and weren't quite sure where they were.

Between the 3 of us we managed to find a recognizable landmark but we never did find the hedge OR the footbridge.  But it wasn't long before we found our way to Lower Slaughter and were all back on track. We had a nice chat (they were from Colorado) and continued our separate ways (they stopped for lunch and I explored Lower Slaughter before heading to Bournton-on-the-Water).

This is beautiful Lower Slaughter. A lot of the "ways" or "paths" are also "bridlepaths" so horses are allowed on them. I saw LOTS of horses in this area.
 An idyllic little village - I just loved it. I took a little detour to explore...
 Once again I was blessed with sunshine and warm fact it was HOT!!
Wish I could have joined the ducks for a swim - I was hot and sweaty from my journey and carrying my pack.
 This little footbridge has likely been here for centuries!
 I followed the stream....
past this gorgeous cottage...

and found a restored mill!
On the other side of the millstream lay one sheep resting comfortably under a tree...
There's the ancient mill wheel...

 and lo and behold if they didn't have homemade organic ice cream!! Exactly what I needed!!
 and yes, it WAS orgasmic!! I had strawberry cream - nom nom nom :) What a treat after my hour of wandering in the hot sunny fields!
 Time to move on to Bournton-on-the-Water. Today's hike was the shortest but because of getting off the path time was slipping away. I included one more "sheep" photo because of the bird flying upside down near him...

 So many cute cottages...all with their own name...

 The instructions to get to Bournton are very simple - follow along beside the water! I can do that!
And what a lovely journey it was...
I came across such a quintessentially  British scene I just had to snap a photo - there was a fence between me and these croquet players but I zoomed in and snuck the shot! (sneaked?)

Following the stream out of the village...

 Lots more horses along the way...both on and off the path...

 Civilization ahead!
 And now to find my way to High Street - think these folks can tell me the way?

 Getting closer...
YES!! I have arrived!
 How lovely it is here!

 And VERY popular with the tourists. The busiest spot I've been to so far.
 Tomorrow - the sights of Bournton-on-the-Water!!


  1. When we went to Ireland, 8 LONG years ago... we had gotten each kid their own camera, film type, to take whatever photos they wanted. You can't believe how many COW pictures we got. Um guys!! We have cows back home. What are you taking pictures of these cows??!!!
    I'm so jealous! It'll be a good many years before I get to go back overseas...

  2. livingrichonthecheapOctober 17, 2014 at 4:14 PM

    So glad you got some nice weather on your holiday. It just reminds me of every single Midsomer Murder episode-the cottages, ducks, sheep and cows.

  3. *sings* England's green and pleasant land....
    Jane x


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