Monday, 2 November 2009

the wood or the trees?

Well, one of the places we've spent some time this past week is in New Forest. With some glorious weather (we left before the wind and rain of this weekend) the trees were fantastic. Of course, the problem with so many trees is the difficulty with seeing the wood/forest and I admit we did get hopelessly lost on one occasion. It was that moment when we reached a road I assumed would be the road between Brockenhurst and Lyndhurst to discover it was totally different - 'Brockenhurst?' said the guy in the car, 'you're a long way from there.'
Well, loads of time for reflection and some great supply of source material drawing from my own in-competence!
We were following a walk out of an AA book, but hadn't bothered with a map (!) Now you need to know I was a scout and, throughout almost my entire life, maps have been precious and highly prized possessions. I've extolled their virtues and scolded others for not bothering to take them because they didn't think they'd need one!
I've also been reading, slowly this time, Stephen Cottrell's "Hit the Ground Kneeling' and he talks about stepping back sufficiently to distinguish the wood from the trees.
All it took was the mis-reading (or mis-writing depending on who's really to blame!!) of one little instruction - in what was a detailed, no one can really go wrong, walk description. Once you've made that error, however, there's no easy way of getting back on track if you don't have a decent enough map to discover where you really are.
Now, because I'm a let's enjoy the journey as part of the adventure kind of walker all was not lost, although my male ego has another little dent down one side.

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