Today we went on a very extraordinary walk through Cromwell woods. It began normal enough, with K and I boarding the 9.10am bus from home. The rest of the C.R.E.W members then also boarded our bus in town and we all rode up to Southowram where the walk was to begin. Following the usual talk by the team leader describing the walk we were about to do, we set off in the usual high spirits and although it was cloudy the sun kept peeping through and it was fairly warm. We had a fairly short walk through some woods, followed by joining the road at the top of Southowram where enjoyed some some stunning views of Halifax and the surrounding countryside as we walked along, until we eventually left the road and continued passed some farms and houses, We were warned to keep away in no uncertain terms with lot’s of dog barking before arriving at the entrance to the woods which was the main part of the walk.
Our walk leader assured us that he had walked the route through these woods twice. It was also at this point where we were joined by a canine friend who seemed to have emerged from nowhere and who insisted on accompanying us on our walk. the walk leader admitted to us before we plunged into the depths that the paths in these woods were a little confusing. They all looked the same he told us. We set off into the woods with our new canine friend leading the way. We climbed mostly. The path was soggy and damp underfoot and quite slippery in places. As usual K was struggling. The path zigzagged its way up and down the woods. We plodded on.
“We’ll soon begin to go down, it’ll become easier then!” (walk leader hopefully to his band of now not so merry walkers trudging behind.) We continued on. Mostly upwards. Our new canine friend kept running on in front and then, getting annoyed because we were all lagging behind, kept bounding back as if playing some sort of game. Either that or to let us know that she wanted us to hurry up. K asked if she could stop for a drink and a rest which we did. It was at this point in the walk when most of us realised that the walk leader was lost. Not the canine one, the human one. He had obviously taken the wrong path somewhere along the route.
We seemed to have been walking for absolutely ages, most of it uphill. Eventually we arrived at a very slippery slope and the walk leader stated that we needed to make our way down to the lower path. Where it was muddy it was very heavy going and K always tends to need some assistance. It was at this very slippy part where one of the men fell in the mud helping K to make her way down the slope. Once we had all managed to climb down the slippy slope and arrive at the lower path it wasn’t long before we arrived at a dry stone wall in the woods that obviously served as some kind of marker and assured the walk leader that we were now on the right path. By this time we had a few members looking worse for wear with mud all over their coats and trousers, and K was one of them.
“I know where we are now!” he assured us. ( At last! I thought to myself. I had been having visions of us wandering these woods until dark with only our newly found canine friend as company.) Now poor canine walk leader was obviously surplus to requirements and was unceremoniously dismissed, immediately dispatched back home without a thank you or care. “Go on! Back home!” she was told the moment that our human walk leader had regained his bearings. Poor lass, and her the only one of us on this walk who actually knew where they were going.
From that point on, we were soon emerging back into civilisation (busy road complete with cars flying past us) where we crossed over and joined the canal towpath and soon made our way back into town. I didn’t know where I ached the most. My feet were throbbing, especially one of my toes and my back was aching. K complained that her feet were aching badly as well. We were both glad when we could sit down in Wetherspoons for a welcome drink and a meal. What a walk! And wonder of wonders as the walk leader remarked afterwards, despite getting lost, we were only quarter of an hour late back!