I’ve been clearly frustrated for the last fortnight; my plans of continuing the Chiltern Way were postponed, whilst I shook off a niggling cold and fooled my body into thinking I wasn’t up to no good!
So this Saturday, I forced myself out onto the second section of the Chiltern Way; lying in bed feeling sorry for myself isn’t going to get me anywhere!
I caught the bus to Chalfont St Giles, and set off at 9am. It was a five minute walk into the village, a pit stop at a local deli to pick up a tasty tuna mayo baguette for lunch, and then it was off on the trail.
I had high hopes the route would be firmer underfoot today, but although there was a nip in the air, the temperature hadn’t dipped low enough to freeze the quagmire paths. An hour in, after the first ascent, I had already hit a wall! When this happens, my mind races through the escape routes, the excuses, the piss poor reasons to retire at the first road with a decent bus service!
As it was, I just needed to loosen the limbs and get my second wind. I passed the first escape, the A355, without even looking for the bus stop, and continued on to the small village of Coleshill.
I was feeling a lot better now; the chill air was an incentive to keep moving. By the time I reached Wycombe Heights Golf Course, the sun was breaking through, and was a very welcome addition to the day.
My energy levels took another dip, and with it my resolve, and once again I eyed up the possibility of a shorter walk. The busy A40 at Loudwater; the 16km / 10 mile mark, was my next opportunity to bail, but by the time I reached there, I was feeling stronger, and decided to continue on.
Up to the M40, and through an intimidating tunnel to the other side, I reached a clearing in small wood, and stopped for lunch. I was definitely out of sorts, but the end was a lot closer than I initially realised. Turning the map and seeing the finish is always a positive, and it was here that I knew I’d get it done.
Soon after some food, I was descending through fields, and watching the Red Kites riding the thermals. I even spotted one sitting in a tree, over a hundred metres away, and really tested the zoom on my Canon Powershot SX210 IS.
Through a section of woodland, I stopped for a quick look at an ancient enclosure, where I read of the training trenches from the first world war; there are many dotted within the woods of the Chilterns. For now, though, I was having my own private battle. I descended steeply to a narrow road, then followed it for about half a kilometre, before the last slippery ascent. I was ready to get off this trail. After today, one thing is certain; I’ve a long way to go before I’m match fit!
As happened on the first section a few weeks ago, my timing proved impeccable. I reached the bus stop at 2.45pm, with only a wait of seven minutes for the bus. Just enough time to quickly rid the boots of mud, with a stiff brush, and stow the gaiters, before heading for my connecting bus in High Wycombe.