Right, this is me up to date, with details of my walk along the Chiltern Way, back on Sunday, 6th May 2012; Oh how long it seems to have been since I last stepped out on this particular way. In truth, it has only been a couple of months.
Surprisingly, I was in good shape, after a late night celebrating my mum’s 70th birthday, and I had no sign of any hangover (lowly 3.8% Rebellion IPA seems to agree with me!)
Once again, Diane joined me; she’s even now thinking about completing the first three legs at the end! She had also decided to up her training for a trip to the Alps in the summer, and so packed her climbing bag to a weight of 10kg, bringing her climbing helmet, cams, harness etc.; I made a note to be more open about the difficulty of the route next time!
This, in my opinion, is the most exciting season for the Chilterns. The woodland floor is a carpet of colour, and the first shoots have appeared upon the the trees. The Beech leaves are young, translucent, and worth a nibble (get them before they mature too much)!
Leaving Russell’s Water, for the final time, the way winds towards the M40 at Stokenchurch, via Northend. Doing a circular, we turned back at Ibstone, and then Southend, where I retraced an earlier section of the Chiltern Way, through the Stonor Estate. The repeat didn’t matter as the contrast between Winter and Spring makes it a different experience.
The final field was also a marked contrast to when I passed this way on Leg three. There was a full crop of, shoulder height, rapeseed, which left our upper clothing peppered in yellow pollen. Not a route to be taken by hay fever sufferers! The path was barely visible, but as good ramblers, it was our duty to exercise our right of way, so off we went!
A none too shabby 19km, if a little slow, but hey, it had been a late night!