“We’re definitely lost,” Sally groaned as the path yielded yet more seemingly identical trees, “Let’s just go back.”
“We’re not lost,” argued Matt irritably, “if we keep following this path, we’ll definitely get to the Manor”
“But we’ve been walking for ages,”
It was true that the excursion had taken longer than either had anticipated. It had seemed a good idea when they’d read about the trail in the guidebook, but neither had anticipated quite how arduous the walk would be. It had also become apparent, very early on, that the map Matt had printed off the website was neither to scale nor in any way an accurate depiction of the route.
The weather wasn’t helping. The trees provided shelter from the sun, but the humidity was unbearable at times.
Sally was thirsty and tired and although the prospect of a slice of ‘home-made’ Victoria sponge in the Manor’s much celebrated tea-room was appealing, she reasoned that if they curtailed their adventure early and just retraced their steps, there would at least be an end to the torment in sight.
Matt, who had never had any real desire to see the famous old house when Sally first mooted the idea, was now more determined than ever to push on. True, it had been a while since they had seen a signpost of any description and also true that he was now only half certain that they were headed in the right direction, but they had set out to visit the Manor, so visit the Manor they would.
They pressed on for another few minutes through homogeneous woodland before Sally finally hit her limit.
“This is ridiculous!” she cried, “Let’s just go back to the car. We can always drive to the Manor.”
“And pay for parking?” Matt was incredulous, “you always do this. Walking this trail was your suggestion, and now you just want to give up? We’ve come this far, we might as well see it through.”
“I’m tired Matt,” Sally pleaded.
“Go back if you want!” Matt tossed the car keys at Sally, who made no attempt to catch them, “I’m going on!”
Matt marched on and Sally stood still.
A hundred yards and a substantial oak between them, and Matt relented. A further two minutes of sulking endured while temperaments cooled in temperatures hot.
They reconciled with a hug. That, at least, was familiar territory.