Stage 10

Stage 10 – Brandon to Great Cressingham (25.1 km)

The 10th stage of the Camino de Pheasant was undertaken on the 04/11/2023 by pheasants Tommy, Adrian and Mark C. This was the first stage to employ the tactic of two cars, leaving one car at the end and driving back to the start in the other.

Departing Brandon on time (9am), the pheasants were soon in wet weather gear for a nominally 25km walk. This would prove to be a more challenging endeavor than initially assumed. Newly acquired hiking kit was much in evidence and soon put to good use as rucksacks, ponchos and walking poles all made an appearance.

The first half of the walk went quite smoothly despite the damp conditions, as the pheasants trundled through Weeting, pausing only to be underwhelmed by the castle. Lunch took place at the village of Mundford, in a charming little store where the team eventually got to grips with a baffling Costa self-service drinks machine.

Leaving Mundford, the pheasants soon met the A1065, which was to be their intermittent companion for the remainder of the journey. At this stage the rain got distinctly heavier despite forecasts to the contrary. But were the pheasants downcast by this turn of events? Yes, yes they were. There was no alternative but to plough on while they questioned their life choices.

Eventually the weather cleared, just as the intrepid trio reached the Desert Rats’ war memorial. By then they had already overcome a technical orienteering problem which had got them lost in the woods (a “detour”). There was now 10km left to the finish, which was communicated by Tommy to the rest of the group with a specially choreographed dance. Mutiny became a distinct possibility following another unscheduled “detour”, heaping pressure on the navigator to stay on track.

As the miles slowly ticked by, the damp weather returned to plague the trio. It was at this juncture that slices of Kendal mint cake were deployed with the intention of leveraging its medicinal properties to help lift spirits and clear sinuses. It certainly dissolved a few teeth.

The last 5km saw the travelers trudge through the increasing gloom, braving speeding cars and torrential rain as they inched towards the welcoming glow of the Old Windmill pub. Drying out over a well deserved pint of Nethergate, the steaming pheasants had left a few puddles on the floor but were able to finally relax and discover that they had walked a whopping 27.5km!

Time for the Camino pheasants to hibernate over the winter months and build up again for 2024 and the three remaining stages to Walsingham.