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Trip Start Oct 10, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Saturday, May 5, 2012

I missed the April walk. I was busy climbing K2. It seems the others fared poorly without me and actually got lost on the way back down off the Malverns in thick fog. Luckily for them, I was back and ready to help lead from behind. There was a good turn out: nine of us set off and we still had seven by the time we got to St Anne's Well on the high street, prior to heading up the hill. The well had been beautifully dressed for the May Day celebrations.

The remaining seven included regulars Pete, me, Kevin and David, plus a pair of Jennys and another Pete, and of course Pal the dog. It was another international gathering, as one set of Jenny and Petes came from Tasmania, somewhere I would love to visit.

The quarry, when we got there, had high water. It was overflowing the path, but the Mensan contingent worked out how to walk along the edge so as not to get their feet wet. Clever bunnies. We were hoping for a sight of the kingfisher, but it was nowhere to be seen this time.

The group divided at the path vs kamikaze grass bank point. For once I decided to join the kamikaze group - Kevin and Pete - while the rest took the more sensible route round. The wind was from the north-east and blew at our backs all the way up. On the ridge it was just cold. By the time we got to the toposcope a few tiny flakes of snow were scudding in the blow.

There were three gliders silently swooping back and forth across the Worcestershire side of the hills, trying to catch an updraft. They sailed from one end of the hills to the other and back again. It is an odd feeling to look down on or even side on to a flying aeroplane. Pal wasn't at all sure about these big birds so close by. On the way back down we saw a helicopter and a hang-glider. The sky was very full.

It doesn't take long to get back down to the pub (if you don't get lost). We met up with Janet and Geoff. The pub had had a much needed update of the menu and a new chef. It was nice to see some variety on the menu, but the prices had inevitably risen. Pete was less than impressed when he also discovered that the portion sizes had shrunk. On mentioning this to the barman, he was told if he didn't like it, he could go to Wetherspoons. As a sales tactic, this was less than successful, as Pete upped sticks and went. Janet, Geoff, Kevin, Pal and I shared the free chips the barman brought to say sorry, just a little too late to repair the damage. Maybe it is time to find a new pub to meet in at the end of the walk.
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