It rained today – not heavily, but enough to get me wet. The route was more or less a straight line to Marlborough, where I went to school. What I had expected was a nice progression through sedimentary landscapes from the Blue Lias of Somerset, through the limestones and then onto the chalk of Wiltshire.
What I had not realised was that the route took me through the abandoned village of Imber. Imber is located in the middle of an Army firing range…… so I arrive at the signs having just crossed a busy main road that I did not really want to go back to, and had to make a decision… forward or back…what do you think it was?
So I figured that they would man the check-point if they really meant NO… and carried on. I waved to some nice men in Army uniforms, who took no notice; I sped past a couple of very mean looking Army trucks and was interested to hear small arms fire to my left and very heavy shell fire to my right (both out of sight) and after about 9 km emerged on the other side just fine. The chalk downland in the ranges looked brilliant and some was being grazed by cattle held in by electric fences. It was sad that the weather was so wet (and cold) as there were no butterflies out – I was really hoping to see a few of chalk specialities today.
My first 100 km run on this trip today – 103 km, 1023 m ascent and 2 tubs! New birds for trip: red kite and green woodpecker. Running totals: 564 km, 7411 m ascent, 41 tubs, 68 bird species.