Hey Hi My Lovlies! My name is Tanya Hooper and I post a collection of short stories, funny anecdotes and poems on this blog every Friday at 7pm. It was exactly one year ago today that this little blog was born, with the first post “Short Story – Train wrecked” going live! So to those of you who have been with this blog since the beginning – Happy one year anniversary! To me, it does not feel like a whole year has passed since I clicked that button to make this blog go live and to see the support this wonderful community have given me in a single year has been over whelming. As well as being the one year anniversary of TanyaTale today, it is also the day we hit 200 followers and I could not have done it without you!
Anyway, that’s enough of me rambling on about how much I love you all – which I 100% do – and it’s time for me to introduce today’s post. We have another anecdote for you today so as always hit that like button, make sure you subscribe, leave a comment if you have ever had any struggles like this and settle back with a warm cup of tea and enjoy “The Great Hike!”
So, I feel as if we should begin by me giving you a little bit of context. It was the summer of 2016 and my friends and I had decided that we were going to make this the best summer of our lives. We had decided that in the six week time span we had been given we were going to make more memories than we had in a lifetime and gather stories which could live on forever, and that we did.
We had spent what felt like years planning the perfect hike. We had found a route, we had booked a cabin at the half way point and we had carefully packed our backpacks ready for this grand adventure.
1PM rolled around and we found ourselves at the start of our hiking route, a train station along the river lee. It did not take us long to discover the whereabouts of the river which marked the start of the hiking trail. I am more than proud to announce that the first hour of our journey was a modest success, until we came across a bridge.
An hour had passed us by and although we were not lost we had been walking along the same canal path we had begun on and we were looking for a little bit of adventure and so when we came across a bridge into the woods we couldn’t help but take it. Boy was that a mistake.
Across the bridge we marched and into what seemed like a bit of woodland and on a day as hot as that one we were appreciative of the shade. Half an hour passed us by when in the distance we saw a gate. “DO NOT ENTER” read the gate. We looked to our left to find a cliff and to our right to find the river and before us a gate forbidding our entry. We had walked a half an hour out of our way to be faced with one choice. We had to turn back.
Feeling some what defeated we decided it was time to stop, time to grab a drink and re consider our route.
“How much more river is there?” asked one of the girls.
You see, I had been in charge of planning the route for this epic journey and had taken the advice of a hikers journal … bad move. Upon looking up our current location on google maps we came across two very disheartening facts. 1) The entire journey was along a canal path and 2) We still had nine hours left to walk. So we did all that was left to do and marched back to the bridge.
“Do not deviate from the path” seemed to be the best motto we could have chosen to follow that day – one that we are all taught as children reading much loved fairy tales such as little red riding hood. But we did not take this advice. A little further down the way there seemed to be another path which promised more adventure than a canal path and so we decided to take it.
We walked out into the woods and through a small clearing before finally finding ourselves faced with a lake and a path which merely circled the lake and came back to where we were stood. My heart sunk a little to think we had added another half an hour to our already long journey but we were not giving up yet.
I will choose to skip the next three hours as nothing spectacular happened. We got lost a few more times (how when all we had to do was walk along a simple canal path, I don’t know) and we sang Disney obnoxiously loud as there seemed to be no-one or nothing around.
Eventually we saw what seemed to be the light as we entered into a clearing with picnic benches and a pub – CIVILISATION! Granted we had no idea where we were but after 5 hours of walking along a canal I was more than happy to see any sign that there were still people in the world.
We sat for a while in the pub gardens trying to figure out our next move – before we realised that we were no-where near our final destination. Had we sat around moping any longer we would not have reached the campsite until gone midnight and so we did the smartest thing we could think of … we tried to find public transport. We marched triumphantly into town, proud of our decision and looked around for public transport, only to learn … the nearest train station was at our final destination.
I felt defeated and as if we were stranded in this small town forever more. We found several paths which we followed but they all seemed to lead us back to the fish and the eel pub. Eventually we gave up, sitting on a bench outside of the pub helplessly.
Eventually I wondered inside, looking for anyone who could find us a taxi number – which is when I met our guardian angel. Well … the bartender. She asked how she could help me and I let her in on our failed journey to which she showed nothing but sympathy. It had taken her a matter of seconds to find me several taxi numbers and give them to me to call.
“Hello, we are in the fish and eel pub in dobbs weir and we were wondering …” Within seconds the line cut off. So we tried a different number.
“Hello could you please take us from Dobb’s Weir to Lee Valley Camp site.” We asked.
“I’m sorry, our satnav does not recognise your location…” And with that they hung up. NOTHING WAS GOING OUR WAY. With that our fairy godmother (or the bartender) emerged from the pub. She looked confused that we were still here after so long and we could tell she wanted to help us. She took some time and called a few of her most used taxi services, all of which refused to come and collect us. After a while she glanced at her watch and announced that her shift had ended nearly an hour ago and she needed to get home. But she did not leave with out some words of wisdom.
“Why don’t you call a parent?”
It was simple but it was genius. Though it may have been the ultimate sign of failure it was also the rescue we were desperate for. An hour later and my mum pulled up outside the pub, a warm smile on her face and a cool car to relive us from the sun.
Although we all said thank you, I don’t feel like it was ever enough for her rescuing me that day. Or in fact rescuing me every other time an adventure failed. BEST MUM EVER.
I wish I could tell you that the failed journey ended there butt it did not. So click the like button if you want to hear the horror story which was our cabin in the woods and be sure to subscribe! Until next week!