Plumbing the depths, then rising to new heights

Ringing in the New Year - with a new, and exhilarating, ramble.

Ringing in the New Year – with a new, and exhilarating, ramble.

Two more wonderful winter walks punctuated the end of 2012 and the start of 2013.

The first, an annual holiday tradition cherished by the girls, saw us donning our wellies on Christmas day to squelch over the sodden fields to the old Saxon mill – turned pub – for festive hot chocolates, mulled cider, and a local beer on draft for Dad. A short walk over well-known, and very muddy, terrain. Not particularly exciting, one would think, undertaken more out of ritual habit than any particular expectation of revelation. But the heavy rains that transformed the fields into brown ooze had also swelled the River Avon. The flood waters poured over the elevated path that led to the pub and suddenly our walk became an exciting adventure.

Flood waters cover the river banks.

Flood waters spread beyond the river’s banks, rushing over the elevated walkway to the mill. Isobel turns for a moment, unsure of whether we can wade through it. 

Though not deep, the water rushed quickly over the stones. We mounted the fence to make our way across.

Though not deep, the water rushed quickly over the stones. We mounted the fence to make our way across.

Excited to have forged our way, we doubly enjoyed our Christmas libations, and then forded the torrent one more time to make our way home.

Excited to have reached our destination, we doubly enjoyed our Christmas libations. Then we forded the torrent one more time to make our way home.

In contrast, our New Year’s Day walk found us high above the rolling Cotswold countryside on Broadway Hill.

The path runs through a series of fields, some populated with sheep, and connects the picturesque village of Broadway with the folly on top of the hill.

The path runs through a steep series of fields and connects the picturesque village of Broadway with its famous folly on top of the hill.

Clouds scudded quickly across the dramatic sky, while the land beneath appeared an undulating quilt in many shades of green.

Clouds scudded quickly across the dramatic sky, while the land beneath appeared an undulating quilt in many shades of green.

At the summit, Broadway Tower glows in the setting sun. On we go, into 2013!

At the summit, Broadway Tower glows in the setting sun. On we go, into 2013!

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