20 July 2021

Arksey

All Saints Church, Arksey

Scorchio! Over the last few days, the weather has been sweltering in The  Yorkshire Republic. To tell you the truth, walking good distances in this kind of weather can be quite challenging but as Noel Coward sang, "Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun". I made sure I had my faded sunhat from Malta with me and a big flask of cold water.

Clint agreed to transport me to the village of Arksey, north of Doncaster. I had never been there before. It's in flat agricultural land criss-crossed by languid drains, sloth-like rivers and arrow straight railway tracks. This is not an area favoured by walkers so some of the public footpaths are rarely trodden.

I came down a dusty lane to a path that hugs a currently dried up stream. It would have taken me in a big arc heading up to the former site of Thorpe Marsh power station. However, it was so overgrown with nettles and brambly briars that even Indiana Jones would have thought twice about it.  I retreated and found another way.

At home, the circular route I had planned seemed pretty straightforward  but reality on the ground can often be different and the retreat from the overgrown path was not the only issue I had to deal with. There was also a disused railway line to circumnavigate because of the jungle-like character it has now adopted.

At one remote spot, a lone red-faced man had been using a small mechanical digger in relation to embankment repairs. He was heading back to his wagon as I approached it from the other direction. He almost jumped out of his skin when he spotted me but then we had a laugh about it. He's a man who is used to working outdoors but  the morning's heat had left him physically drained.

After three and a half hours, the circle was complete. Unfortunately, "The Plough" at Arksey did not open till 5pm so the pint of bitter shandy I had been daydreaming about evaporated into the thick July air. Before setting off, I had remembered to crack Clint's windows open ever so slightly so the cockpit temperature was acceptable as we headed home again. I was well and truly bushed but pleased to have had the workout in previously unexplored territory.

31 comments:

  1. Not the most picturesque of your walks, and there doesn't seem to be much shade. From your comment about the heat, I think the three men in the last photo had the right idea - did they go for a dip?

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    1. They were probably waiting for me to disappear before stripping off Carol. Oh - that last sentence sounds wrong!

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  2. Apparently Almholme means ' watermeadow growing with elms'. Doctor Google. Super photos.

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    1. You can be my secretary. Make us a cup of tea will you love?

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  3. Replies
    1. You are right. Every new walk is a new adventure.

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  4. Englishmen in the last photo with shirts on in hot sun! How un-English. No hats either.

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    1. I realise that all Australian men wear bush hats in the sunshine with dangly corks to keep off the flies but in England that's not the way.

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  5. I have found it difficult to be active in bright sunlight and high temperatures.

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    1. Yesterday reminded me of walking in Thailand. So draining.

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  6. Anything above 70 is uncomfortable for hiking, in my opinion. I'll walk in warmer temperatures but hills are a killer in the heat.

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    1. Fortunately, in England, we do not have this problem often.

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  7. Rather you than me. I cant take the extreme heat these days and prefer to hunker in the shade.

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  8. A walk in unfamiliar territory is always interesting, and with the detours etc. it sounds rather adventurous. You were well prepared with your sun hat and water.
    Such a shame about the pub not being open - I know that feeling when you have been looking forward to a refreshing shandy (Radler in German) for the last hour or so and then realise it won't be happening.

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    1. In such heat a radler hits the spot. (I made up for it last night in our local)

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  9. I admire your ability to take long walks in this heat.
    Lately I have only been able to manage a few short walks each day, with a rest period in the shade in-between them.

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    1. That's because tha's not from Yorkshire lass!

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  10. I was struggling gardening.

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    1. Days to shelter from the sun. A nice change.

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  11. One of the benefits of waking up early as I age is that I can get my walks in early before it gets too terribly hot and the angle of the sun more direct.

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    1. I guess that Iowa can get pretty hot in the summertime.

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  12. I can definitely relate to walking in the heat. It can be brutal.

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    1. I thought of you plodding for a mile or so in the sultry Florida sun.

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  13. That is some flat land. It has it's own beauty but I like the hills better.

    I live in between, not prarie, not boreal forest but Aspen parkland. Lots of bush and sloughs.

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    1. I like the hills better too but it is nice to mix things up.

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  14. Machete? Indian Jones probably had one...

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    1. I tend not to carry long knives when out walking Tigger.

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  15. It's always good to visit someplace new. And you found a nice church! Is there any public scheme for keeping footpaths open, or is it just up to walkers to keep the weeds beaten down?

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    1. All councils in rural areas have at least one officer whose job it is to address issues that concern public rights of way. In the past I have reported several path issues and they have been addressed positively. Sometimes there can be problems with landowners who try to obstruct legal access. Fortunately, nearly every walk I take is trouble-free.

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  16. You're a devil for punishment aren't you. No way you would get me doing a walk like that in the heat.

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Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.

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