On my first trip to the UK, I spent about a week in Cambridgeshire, in a little village called Little Paxton. I was visiting my friend Alexandra, and she was my guide on all the trip in the region. She took me to London, Cambridge, and even later drove all the way to Dumfries with me. Of course, one of the first things we explored was Little Paxton and the larger adjoining St. Neots, which is absolutely gorgeous, also full of pubs. Not kidding, you can’t walk for more than ten steps without seeing a pub. Or at least it seemed that way to me because Alexandra kept pointing them out 🙂
Of all the Little Paxton sight, the Paxton Pits Nature Reserve was by far my favorite. Even if I got caught up in a guerrilla attack from the local mosquitoes that eventually drove me out sooner than I would have wanted to! Why did I go to a nature reserve that’s mostly made up of 77 hectars of lakes, meadows, forests, and grasslands? Well, because I can be act like an idiot at times and it had been so cold before our visit that I didn’t think the little buggers were alive and well.
To get to the reserve, we pretty much crossed the street, walked on a neat little path that had the feeling of a secret corridor.
We got a little bit distracted by the Little Paxton sights on the way. I mean there’s a river that goes directly under this building I am staying at and then it turns into this lake, can you blame us?
Like any good visitors, we stopped to check out the map, and figure out where we were going. Now, if you stick to the trail and your purpose is to explore the area, then you can get together a nice walk of about six kilometers. We didn’t do that, we just took a photo of the map for posterity and just headed wherever we felt like it.
We met a few people on the way, but not that many. It was mid-June, it was a sunny but not very warm day, and it was a week day. So other than a few people walking their dogs and a couple of families with kids, it was pretty much deserted. My favorite visitor was by far a little girl that insisted on sharing her love of slimy things with us. She boasted about touching a frog, and that’s what prompted the declaration. Apparently frogs and lizards and other slimy stuffs are the best ever!
Luckily, the water lilies ware in bloom and we took our time admiring them. I haven’t seen so many in the same place since I was a little kid, to be honest, so I was thrilled by the view.
We had initially planned to spend at least a couple of hours walking around, taking photos, and generally goofing off, but after the first hour, I was starting to feel the mozzies 😀 I am a city girl, but I’ve had my share of river side vacations where the mosquitoes would try to eat you alive. See, I am used to the local, Romanian, variety. Which means, the mosquito allergy I’ve inherited from my dad does not act up much.
Well, these were new ones, and after the first three stings, I was itchy all over. My skin around them was red and swollen. As always, Alexandra looked incredulously at me. If it weren’t for the clear signs on my skin, she would have not believed me. Why? Because I am the perfect mosquito repellent for whoever is with me. They all flock him like I’m their favorite meal 😀
I did put on a brave face and tried my best to deal with the need to scratch myself bloody, but after another fifteen minutes, we decided to head back. Our walk still took almost two hours, but the last twenty minutes or so were murder!
The lesson is trust in mosquito spray or cream or any repellent you can find. Don’t think you’re being smart and know when the little demons are out and about! Better safe than sorry 😀 And the other conclusion is you have to visit the Paxton Pits Nature Reserve if you’re in the area. It’s beautiful, it’s refreshing and relaxing, and it works great to walk your pet or enjoy a picnic. Or maybe bring a book to read or your laptop to let nature inspire you to write.