The way from the skirts of the mountain to the top of the peak is in fact surprisingly short. It takes just one step. The step that crosses the threshold of the front door. Why did we take so many detours that the mould so abundantly blossoming in the depths of our basement room sprouted in our brains? We used to blame England and its array of peculiarities for the stream of unlucky events that have coloured our existence in this island, but following Tim’s understanding of the local spiritual fauna, we recently agreed on a more scientific explanation – a mischivous boggart must have followed us all the way from Yorkshire to the West Midlands. Whatever the reason, in cases of mould in the brain we prescribe a good walk over hills and valleys too (recommended across Wales- the Celtic kingdom of dragons, cider and fine views ).
Computer off, backpacks on, joints cracking and a stiff, uncertain move out of the house. The most challenging bit is over and now we only need to walk out of Birmingham and hold thumbs up, while keeping an eye open for good people driving to Wales. The centrifuge of the road spins us suddenly and eventfully, generously offering wild berries nesting next to broken down facades of abandoned factories, a ride on a boat on the canal, speedy and pleasant lifts straight to and around the misty and mysterious peaks, picturesque towns and ruined castles of Northern Wales and a few days later spits us out exhausted, but inspired in the outskirts of our current home, Birmingham.
Breathless, we fall asleep. Besides the energising and refreshing effect the whole journey feels as if the Movie makers that plot our travels had pressed shuffle to make us re-think and re-examine many of our preconceptions. Apparently a thousand metres hill could possess all the features and sharp beauty of a greater mountain, the sun might pierce the shield of the misty clouds even on the top of the peaks, the canals are hitchable and regardless of the age, gender and societal status of the driver, the UK can be more than a hitchhiking friendly country. Is this because healthily heavy backpacks and a pinch of sunlight evoke light hearts or beacuse Peter the sailor adopted the boggart?
The first time we hitchhiked a boat was in an English cannal. Roving the waters with Peter the sailor. Shropshire canal (England)
This travel was made possible thanks to: Peter and Basia (we hope the Boggart treats you well), Susan and her friend, the couple of Telford and those who took us to Ed and Bean (we listen to your hang as we write this post), Jack and Sway and their spare tyre, Rob the musician, Joe the vet, Dan the climber, Michael (who does not know he looks like Marta’s brother), Danny with his travelling british-peruvian family and ‘Bread’ the fast.