Sapperton and Daneway

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I learned many things while road tripping around France and Spain with Rocky. Two of those things are: (a) Rocky’s paws are much happier on softer, less-rocky ground and (2) I need to walk up more hills.

One of my post-holiday promises to myself is to walk up more hills, at least one per week. I live in the Cotswolds, so I have no excuse not to!

So last weekend Rocky and I set out on the Sapperton and Daneway Walk listed in the Pathfinder Guide of Cotswold Walks. As it turned out, half of the walk was along the towpath of the now-defunct Thames and Severn Canal, which is about as far away from a hill as you can get, but even so, it was a neat bit of history – the canal opened in 1789 and was abandoned in 1927, leaving behind an eerie bogland earmarked by the odd remains of canal locks, ruined masonry and the canal tunnel itself – 2 1/2 miles long!

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Other parts of the walk saw a few small climbs (about 50 floors in total according to the Fitbit), meandering along fields and bringing to mind words I’d never used until I moved to Britain: hedgerows, copses, kissing-gates and sunken tracks.

I do miss the high drama of the Picos and the Pyrenees, but it’s good to be back on familiar ground. And I know one of us at least doesn’t mind the lack of extreme hills or sweltering heat. Soft ground, lots of shade and ample water features are where it’s at for the Rockstar:

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The next Top Pet Model?

Rocky at the London Eye (post-edit)

One of the things I love about Rocky is that he doesn’t seem to mind me putting him in front of the camera – in fact, I think over the last year and a few months since I’ve owned him, he’s learned that when the iPhone comes out, it’s time to sit down and be pretty!

To that end, I’ve submitted his picture to Buyagift’s “Next Pet Model” competition. I don’t usually go in for such a thing but I think the competition is a nice one that’s worth supporting because it’s designed to raise money for Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, an animal shelter in London that rehomes dogs and cats (my own Rocky is a rescue dog and I give mega props to organisations like BDCH which save unwanted animals and the people who take them in).

Plus, the prizes for winning the competition are kind of awesome and include a PET SPA DAY in London which my poor Rocky direly needs after wearing out his little paws in France and Spain over the last few weeks.

Click here to vote for Rocky (or whoever you wish!) in the competition.