Day 58 – Longton to The Saddle Inn, Lea Preston – 10.5 miles

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Saturday 19th March 2016 – 622.83 miles
Set the alarm for 7am this morning but unfortunately I forgot to cancel the one for our usual time of 5.30! Ah well!

Sadly Ivan and Sarah had to dash off at 7.30 so after teas and coffees we reluctantly said our goodbyes. Happily Ivan and Sarah hope to walk with us for the day sometime soon. Thanks for the meal last night Ivan and Sarah – so good to meet up after all this time and look forward to seeing you both very soon.
Debbie kindly put our clothes through the washing machine and tumble dried them for us. Meanwhile Duncan made us each a bacon sandwich and after more cups of coffee it was time to get packed and on the road again. Debbie came with us for a while as she needed to take the dogs for a walk. Thank you Duncan and Debbie for welcoming us into your home.
We walked out of Longton through the village and bought some supplies from the local Spar shop. Dave got chatting to and gave a flyer to Jon outside the shop. He wished us good luck – thanks Jon.  As we were leaving Longton John Mac stopped his van and asked us about our walk.  He walks and cycles for charity and wished us success – thanks John.
We turned left onto a quiet lane which became a track further on.

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A walk along the edge of a field then onto a lovely path which wound it’s way among trees along the top of a  bank.

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It wasn’t long before we reached the River Ribble and joined The Ribble Way towards Preston.

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Across the river we could see and hear a motorcycle scrambling event. To us it sounded like a swarm of demented wasps but to them, no doubt, it was great fun. On our side we had pylons and sheep!

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We stopped to take a photograph from underneath a pylon and all the sheep came to investigate.

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After they realised that there was no food to be had, they turned and slowly wandered off.
David, out walking with Bonnie the dog, stopped to talk about our walk. We gave him a flyer – good to meet you David.

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The path changed from open grassland to a rough gravel track and then to tarmac.

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It was a park created after an old coal-fired power station had been demolished. We got talking to Andy out walking his dogs Max and Missy.  He was a mine of information about Preston – thanks for the info Andy.
We didn’t linger in Preston but made our way out of town towards the Lancaster Canal.  Terry came by and got off his cycle to talk to us. He has travelled extensively  in the US and is planning a trip to Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly later this year. He lives near the canal so came with us to show us the way – thanks Terry.
Back onto the canal towpath once more we made good progress. The canal goes west as it leaves Preston and curves round in a big loop following the contours of the land. We decided to cut across country to save a few miles and rejoin the canal further on. Time was getting on and we stopped at the Saddle Inn, Lea Preston for a short rest.

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Dave got chatting to the manager Dawn who was sitting outside taking a break.

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To cut a long story short we are now camped in the garden behind the pub and enjoying a beer in the bar before an early night. Thanks Dawn.

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