Ridgeway – Day 5 (Summary)

DISTANCE WALKED: 14.2 miles

BRAVEST PERSON: Julian (for general bravery over previous days)

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Do you have Tourettes Bev?” – Susanna  “Aren’t they spindly legs?” – Bev


This is the only day’s summary that I wrote after the end of the walk, so I might have forgotten some of the finer details of the day….

We had gone much further than I had anticipated the day before, which meant that the day’s walking should be much easier, at under fifteen miles. These are relatively short distances that we all do on a regular basis, but today it didn’t feel quite so exciting. The morning’s walk was leisurely and was back to the traditional wide chalk path with trees on either side.

We had our lunch in Princes Risborough, some of us deciding to go to the pub and some going straight for a sit down in a grassy area. We didn’t really have the energy to explore the town, but it seemed a pleasant little location. After my quick half a cider I was able to purchase a glamorous lunch in the Spar at the Esso petrol station, realising that this really was living the dream.

Bev had one of her hysterical lunch-time episodes when she started commenting on legs. After she had caused finished much offence we all packed up and struggled back up the hill to rejoin the path.

The afternoon element was much hillier in places, but there was a lot of wildlife visible, including deer and insects. Actually, the deer was really the only interesting piece of wildlife I saw, but it deserved a mention.

We went through the Chequers estate, a property which was gifted to the nation around 100 years ago for the use of the Prime Minister. The legislation that secured this was also the first time that the words “Prime Minister” had been used. It wasn’t possible to get that close to the house, but it did at least offer a reasonable view of the frontage.

There was a lot of security at the gate, with numerous signs warning people to stay out of the rounds and to stick to the path. However, I liked that they hadn’t tried to reroute the path by claiming security concerns. I wasn’t walking with Bev, as I was worried that her loud cackling would concern the security team, but luckily she wasn’t stopped and questioned.

The walk ended with a woodland meander and then it dropped down to Wendover. Our hotel was a little way off the route, indeed, quite a way off the route. Hardened adventurers would have just walked that distance and treated it as part of their walk. We all sat down at the railway station and called a taxi. Well, I say we, I barged my way onto a seat as I deemed myself most in need and Steve had to phone a taxi.

Eight phone calls to taxi companies later, as well as forty minutes of sitting down, we were whisked to our grand hotel accommodation. I was disappointed that the occupants of room five could be heard along the corridor in room two, but otherwise everything was clean, comfortable and represented very reasonable value. I discovered later the noise coming from room five was Bev.

I had strangely low hopes for the meal in the Innkeeper’s Lodge, where we were staying, but it was much better than I had anticipated. The fish & chips, shared dessert and shared wine were all of a perfectly reasonable quality, and it was worth the wait that we had. Bev enjoyed most of her food, which confused everyone.

We enjoyed a few drinks into the late hours, and then Bev and I stayed up late to gossip about the others. We left the pub in the early hours of the following day, which probably wasn’t a good idea…..

Maggie and I were the ones probably suffering the most, or at least, we were the ones being most vocal. I don’t follow this rubbish from people like Liam who battle on in silence. As Frank Spencer said, a trouble shared is a trouble doubled, so that’s my philosophy. If in pain, tell everyone. And even if not in pain, just tell everyone you are a bit to garner sympathy.