English Ramblers, People of "The Book"
England is said to be a nation of gardeners. I know it to be a nation of walkers, or ramblers as they are called in Britain. These are not the historical and architectural walking tours for tourists around London, but rambles through the English countryside.
One weekend, I woke up with the idea that it would be nice to get out of the city and into the countryside during the improving weather.
As I entered the
carriage of the train heading to the destination point, I noticed some
people who looked like the rambling type and asked them if they were
on a tour. It turned out that they were so I asked them to point out
the guide so that I could join the group and pay the tour fee.
They met my question with puzzled looks and chorused, "There isn't any guide."
All I needed was “the book,” they said.
I hadn't a clue as to what they were talking about. Fortunately, they chose to take me under their collective wing and explain the procedures. Unlike the previous city tourist walks I had taken, there isn't one particular guide on these country walking events.
People have previously bought “the book” which describes the walk and gives them detailed directions of the route and landmarks. Then, they turn up on designated dates, also mentioned in “the book,” so that they have company.
Group dynamics meant that when the train arrived in Haslemere, no one wanted to be the leader. Finally, some brave soul set off with us tagging along.
I was envisioning a lovely stroll taking in the nature and maybe finishing off my roll of film. Instead, I found myself running through the forests with some hard core maniacs, oh sorry, enthusiasts.
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