Sunday, October 31, 2004


Day 39

Adventuring is about moving on, facing new excitements... and it can also be about long hours in the saddle. Today was certainly all about the riding part. I nearly wore my voice out telling Memree of the battles, forays, and skirmishes that Tayne, Ashil and I had been involved in, four or five years back. It's surprising how much louder one does have to talk, over the clopping of hooves and the other noises horses make, and of course we were further apart than usual, as the best part of the track was often only wide enough for one horse at a time. If life ever gets quiet and boring enough, I might even write one or two incidents down in this book, but no promises!

It was another fine day, and we made good time. My best estimate is that we are just about halfway to Wealdstone now, with a tent pitched close to a stream way out in the middle of nowhere. We did pass through a few small villages, and they all had taverns of course where we could have stayed in a proper bed, but I've been bitten enough in such places to find the idea of a night under canvas rather more appealing - and anyway, we were able to ride on for a while after the last village, and increase the chance that tomorrow afternoon or evening will see us arrive in Wealdstone, rather than have to stop again or keep riding after it gets dark, which is generally not a good idea - if a horse puts a foot in a hole you and it haven't spotted, it can easily break its leg.

We saw plenty of wildlife. I pointed out a distant eagle to Memree, there were plenty of deer, and we saw signs of wolves. A big mother bear and a couple of playful cubs watched us ride past with no great display of interest, and there were even some wild boar around. We did discuss the possibility of having one of those for our evening meal, but the preparation time put us off, and we did have some cold meat pies with us.

So, the light is fading now, which means I'd better stop writing and check if the pot of water we suspended over a small but cheerful campfire has reached boiling yet. Time for food, after a long day in the fresh air I think we are both unusually hungry - maybe we should have roasted a boar!

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