Gandalf urges the group to travel at once and quickly to put space between themselves and the goblins. He then adds, " you lose track of time inside goblin-tunnels."
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Gandalf is both leading and protecting the group. Let's face it, in the Hobbit and every other part of the novels Gandalf could have handles everyone and everything by himself. The important thing here was victory over evil and spiritual growth amongst the group. Gandalf didn't want to explain the "from here to there" measures; he just wanted the others to realize that there was hope, and that when you least expect it........ there are miracles.