And this is what all the waiting was for - the ‘interesting’ entrance to Melbury Park, surpassed, in my mind, only by the walk from Rutland Water to Manton. In other words, ineffectual, laborious and draped in tedium. I’m sorry, Peter, but there must be a better way of getting from Yetminster to Evershot, surely?

Meanwhile, when leaving Hardy’s own kitchen, Evershot; we are back on the real trail, like here, approaching Fortuneswood.

Or like here, at the sublimely ridiculous Chantmale. In its distant past, Chantmarle was one of the key police training facilities in the country. Today, when the Macmillan Way tourist enters its environment there is a feeling of the ‘Twilight Zone’. I was not old enough to originally appreciate ‘The Prisoner’, but saw it on one of its many replays. And this is it. You are alone, (unless you are walking with another), and you enter this ‘pretend’ environment. Although we only skirt the real ‘village’, there is definitely a dreamlike quality that Chantmale exudes before you clip the stile and enter a world of ‘fields’ once more.

Woo-Hoo! I may have been only entering the hamlet of Sandhills, (appropriately titled), but for the first time since leaving Boston...I heard the sound of seagulls! I don’t care how irrelevant this photograph is, it was the marker for my appreciation that I had almost made it.

And eventully, Cattistock, where I had my lunch, listening to an excellent live band and internally debating the fate of the village church with its ever-present ‘money sand-glass’.

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