Miles in the sun
With the thermometer forecast to be in the mid eighties for the day, I set out early to head for a town the other side of London. It meant leaving during the tail end of rush hour so that I would have plenty of time.
It's been a bit over two years since I walked in this area during the search for the beautiful little valley. What occurred was more than I expected.
The route was from Amersham to Seer Green, fortunately it is the opposite direction of Great Missenden. The last time in this locale was before the Pandemic and I was in much better shape. I set out and stopped for a bite to eat at the memorial, then continued as usual. Last winter and spring we had some very serious rain storms here. This area had about a months worth in a day and everything went crazy, especially the stream I had to go over.
Twice I had crossed here on a very shaky bridge. This time was different. The old bridge must have been wiped out and a new one is in place. It's a lot sturdier and both hand rails are present.
The route is along side of the stream and a nearby road with the hills on the right. The hot sun was offset by gentle breeze flowing up my bush shirt and a pleasant stroll began.
There's nothing much here apart from the trails and scenery, but one small side path made itself known so I went down it to see what was there. It stopped at the rear of a large house's acreage and I looked through the trees.
An Egret! It turned it's head when I made some noise but seeing as I only had my fone with me, this is the best shot I could get by increasing the megapixels. My Leica/Lumix would have yielded a much better shot. I'm not sure if it's a pet or had simply landed there for a rest.
I carried on for some miles, heading toward Chalfont St. Giles. Nothing much until I saw the Thistles. I know they have this fuzzy stuff on, but this lot were full of it, something I'd not seen like this before. I wonder what else is going to happen on this trek? I only expected maybe one out of the ordinary thing.
Well, I didn't have to wait all that long. A mile or so later and this cow deal took place. Understand that the temperature is in the mid to high eighties, officially, so in the direct sun it's probably knocking on a hundred. I stood there for several minutes wondering why all these cows are huddled together in this heat, it seems they would separate more. The ground must be a lot cooler underneath so the grouping has taken place, who knowsthey're cows.
Shortly after this I entered a wood and was joined by a guy named Tom. We chatted as the two of us headed the last little bit into Chalfont St. Giles. Once in the town center, Tom went to to his place to work (he works for Deutsche Bank, normally in London). I grabbed a bottle of beer and ate my lunch on the small village green. Then I tried to find the trail to Seer Green and that's when it all began.
People there are very helpful and quite a few did the best they could, though most never walked footpaths and didn't know. I stopped to sense the place and came up with 'Mixed' (not mixed up just Mixed). Some of the folk here are very wealthy, but I reckon they came later than the original inhabitants (don't know for sure). Who did live here was John Milton (Paradise Lost) and his old cottage still exists for tourists and probably school children.
Up and down streets I went, at least two miles on the hard surface. I had now gone over 8 miles. My legs began to hurt and my left foot was giving me grief. No sign was found, so I limped another mile back to the center of the place and had to wait about 40 minutes for a bus. The nearby village church was being decorated for a wedding that was to take place, so I didn't go in much more as a practice was happening. Finally the bus to Seer Green arrived.
The driver of the bus dropped me off and I saw a sign for the railway station. Trouble is, the station was a good mile away. I needed to break the ten mile barrier, but not on this day. Eventually I arrived and saw the entrance to the place where I had walked two years ago. Back then I never went near the village, I came in overland, though some thick woods and ended up at the station.
I sat down on a seat and realized I had made a mistake. I also noticed that other people wating for the train did not sit down. English seats, for the most part, are terribly uncomfortable. These dip down in the middle about 4 inches and are hard for me to get out of without hurting my spine. I felt a little pain, but not enough to ground me, managed to get up and walked around for a bit. The train came and I was stuck in a cramped double seat thing. The seats I call "British Rail Torture Units" and have this hard bit slamming into the base of your back with a shape of an extreme spinal curve that no one really hasthey are nasty even to people without back troubles. I normally sit sideways so as not to end up in hospital, even then I had little room.
It got very painful, the cramped space was not 'it' and I had to get off at a station for some relief. In my pocket were two meltlets to cover the pain. Walking around I was okay and about an hour later decided to avoid the trains and take the Tube (metro) into the center of London. The rush hour had finished so there was a lot of room plus the seats okay. I chatted most of the way back with a guy who is a project manager for a division of EBay, he got off at Bond Street and I went on, grabbed another Tube line and finally arrived home about eight fifteen PM. I was dog tired, had small bite to eat and hit the sack a 9pm, sleeping nearly 10 hours. My back is still sensitive so will need to be careful for a while.
Otherwise the trek was enjoyable, even though I had covered a lot more miles than originally intended. I had met some interesting people and seen some cows doing a strange thing.
Sep 08, 2021
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