Wistow Corn Maze
Luckily it was a warm Autumn morning when I chose to wander round the local Corn Maize Maze, in the English countryside, possibly the most strange but interesting local sight. Each year it attracts families, groups of friends, or even the odd walker who fancies brightening up their day. This year, the design took the shape of an Olympic athlete carrying the torch. What could be more weird and wonderful than exploring a gigantic and challenging maze whilst breathing in the fresh smell of corn?
Rows and rows of light yellow coloured corn stretches back as far as the eye can see as you stand at the main entrance gate, which is surrounded by wild flowers. The bouquet of small brightly coloured flowers hits you straight away and makes you stop and take a really deep breath, filling your lungs to bursting point. Butterflies flutter their wings and move gracefully from flower to flower picking up all that pollen. Up ahead, a group of small birds sang with a chirp as if to welcome you to the maze when you set foot through the entrance. If you listen closely enough, you can hear the odd bumblebee buzz and watch as people made gestures with their hands hoping that the bumblebees would go away.
The start of my journey began by wandering aimlessly through little mud pathways separated by the tall corn stalks. Unfortunately, I’d forgotten to pick up a map so I did not know whereabouts I was. It was weird to think that I could have been walking around the ‘torch’ or the ‘athlete’ as you have no idea from the ground where you are- only when you see it from above or in a picture. I began to wonder if I was ever going to get out and whom do I call for help; I could be trapped here forever. Wondering through the maze, I couldn’t help touching the maize (the corn). It felt damp, prickly, and quite harsh.
As it was the weekend, lots of children and their parents were here today, all laughing and chattering. I mostly caught “where are you,” “no not that way,” and “hey look what I’ve found.” Half listening to their conversations, I tried to decide whether to go left, right, or continue straight ahead. If only I had remembered to pick up a map!
After a couple of minutes spent pondering on which way to go, I decided to turn right. I walked through the mud path, put my foot into some wet puddles and got my feet soaking wet. I squelched with every step. Eventually (and with some luck) I reached an ice cream bar. The sun was shining and I felt quite hot, so I handed over £2.00 for a rainbow ice cream which was topped with multi coloured marshmallows. It looked fantastic, tasted delicious, and cooled my mouth, but was gone far too quickly!
The sun beat down onto the maze as I carried on through, my shoulders brushing against the corn. Looking down I noticed the footprints others and I had made in the soft mud, some small and some quite large. I hoped they were all human footprints? Weird, wonderful, and exciting sights and sounds seemed to appear out of nowhere. My ears and eyes were attracted once again to the mud path as I noticed a mouse scurrying past. Then I looked up and saw the stunning red and brown autumn coloured leaves of trees gently swaying in the breeze. Compared to the size of the trees, I was as small as a ladybird. Glancing to my left, I saw the road indicating I was near to the side of the road. “Hopefully I am going the right way,” I remember thinking to myself and I jumped over the puddle that was slowly drying up in the midday sun.
Stopping in my tracks I noticed I was at a dead end. That’s the weird thing about being in a maze: you really do not know where you are as it all looks the same. Luckily there was a bench there, and as if the maze was built for me, I noticed a blackberry shrub right next to it. Skillfully I dodged the brambles and plucked off a couple of ripe juicy blackberries and popped them into my mouth. The sharp but sweet taste was excellent.
The only option now was to go back the way I came for about a minute and then turn left. A clear blue sky shone above me, I could feel the heat burn down onto my shoulders; they were getting quite red now. Time was passing and I knew I must get out of this maze; it felt ridiculous that it was this hard!
I must have walked for miles, as my legs were aching and both my feet were sore. But I had to keep going.
At last the exit sign was in sight. What a relief! I marched on, almost running, and forgot how tired and sore my legs and feet were. Once out of the maze, I was greeted by the sounds of children playing in the nearby playground and visitors eating their packed lunches. I could smell egg sandwiches, burgers, and onions (from the burger van) all of which made me very hungry. I joined the queue for a burger and a bottle of water, and lay down on the soft warm grass and ate my lunch.
Harriet Willis is a member of the Youth Travel Blogging Mentorship Program.
Photo courtesy of flickr creative commons: flickr.com/photos/modernrelics/6121285174/