At last a small break in the weather promised us a dry day. The walk was advertised as a muddy one which was an understatement to say the least!
11 of us gathered at Vinalls car park in Mortimer Forest and we set off along the gently descending track in Mary Knoll Valley. Just beyond Sunnydingle Cottage (a real misnomer as there was no sun at all) we turned sharp left and made the climb up to the viewpoint for a coffee. Spurning the convenient bench most of us either stood or sat on the grass for our brief break and long discussion on the state of Frangipanes!
What is the word coming to?
No icing now on Frangipanes
Heading down towards Whitcliffe
The Lower Whitcliffe path started off reasonable firm but we were soon taking evasive action to try to keep out of the mud with only limited success. We were approaching our first Elan pipeline aqueduct when disaster struck. It was very muddy along this stretch, and Geri, at the rear, in taking evasive action lost her footing and within an instant found hereself upside down on her back sliding headfirst out of sight to the horror of Catherine who saw it all. Fortunatley a strand of barbed wire arrested this uncontrolled slide and (with the assistance of Catherine, Ros and Bob) Geri eventually found herself back on the path with not too much damage done.
The 5½ hugged oak tree at Deepwood Dingle aqueduct
Deepwood Dingle aqueduct
We then turned left handed and climbed up Hunstay Hill, eventually emerging from Bringewood into the daylight and the final descent via Monstay Farm to the car park.
A viw of Downton Castle from Hunstay Hill