Sadly, even though I really wanted to, I decided not to stay the night out in the wood. My joints have been very sore and stiff recently.
Clouds gave way to soaring blue sky and sun on Saturday afternoon. The woods were beautiful; the new leaves all shades of fresh and vibrant green.
At 4.30pm I left the bivi-ers and slowly started back to the car park. I was totally alone at this time, no other walkers around. It was so beautiful, just me and all the sounds of nature. Suddenly on the track ahead, a huge adult fallow deer stepped onto the track about 15 meters in front of me. Because I was moving so slowly it was easy to quickly freeze like a statue. I was wearing black and I blended into shadows under the trees and the deer didn’t see me. I was also down-wind of it, and it kept on coming toward me sniffing around and nibbling the trees. It kept peering towards where I was standing. I was trying to be so still! I was hardly daring to breathe, but the deer’s finely tuned senses could tell something was near, but it did not stamp it’s feet, so I judged it wasn’t feeling threatened. After about 2 minutes (which felt like a hundred) it wandered off into the other side of the track into the wood and just disappeared, like magic, it was so well camouflaged.
On the last stretch of the walk back, the hillside was covered with rabbits. I had to sit down and rest anyway, so I enjoyed watching them. I saw swallows darting around in the air. I really like them.
It took me an hour and a half to walk about 2 kilometers back. Usually it would take me half that time, but going slowly allowed me to really see and enjoy everything.