DISTANCE WALKED: 13.1 miles
BRAVEST PERSON: Maggie, for bravery in battling on despite a damaged foot.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “What a beautiful bush” – Susanna “We’ve done it, this bloody walk is over” – Julian “Someone has got me up the duff” – Susanna “I think Maggie has been the biggest whinger of the week” – Bev “I object to that, I always win the whinger of the week” – Julian “Well done everyone, we’ve done it” – Julian
The first bit of news is that we’ve done it. We’ve completed it, all seven of us! So well done to us all, especially Maggie who struggled with her foot on the final day, and she has won the bravest person of the day in an exceptional display which even out-matched Julian. Although it obviously wasn’t impressive enough to win the whole week.
We started off the day at the Innkeeper’s Lodge and we decided that we really couldn’t be bothered to walk to the start of Ridgeway, so we got a taxi. Well, two taxis turned up to cater for our large party, and we had a lovely into Wendover. The distance today wasn’t that large, but that can sometimes be deceptive. We had a decent breakfast though, and Bev was moderately pleased with the quality of the ingredients. We didn’t go for the cooked breakfast though, so no complaints about the egg today.
The one slight quirk of completing a long distance path is that it’s essential to complete every foot of the distance. That means if we stop one side of the road in an evening, we can’t start on the other side of the road the morning after. So, bar one person (who I won’t name as I don’t want the official record to show they didn’t really finish) we all crossed the road, ceremoniously touched the wall and ensured that we were on the way to completing a technically complete Ridgeway walk.
We meandered along what was mostly a woodland walk and made good progress throughout the morning. It was a delight to arrive at Tring station, which is around two thirds of the way to the end, just after mid-day. The last section of the walk is hilly, and some of the group had been rather dreading it.
We had a short stop at Tring station and purchased our train tickets for the journey into London later on in the day. I had a numerous cereal bars and some delicious water, which I was rather wishing was something a little stronger.
The last section did though go relatively quickly and the incline was smooth. Bev was complaining, but we’ve developed strategies to ignore that. Bev and I had a good gossip about everyone else on the walk and we carefully compared each other notes.
To reach the end was a complete delight, and it was great to see what everyone finished together. It’s been a long week of walking and more challenging than some of us thought, but that makes it all the more of a challenge.
I asked a kind lady to take some photos of us all, which she did, and that will be our permanent reminder of our bravery. After a few minutes at the top of the hill we decided to get a taxi to take us to the pub. This was after having to rush to the car park to meet up with the two taxis that were collecting us, and they certainly made the journey memorable with their style of driving….
We went to the Valiant Trooper in Aldbury, which everyone thought was suitably named because of my bravery during the week. The others forced me to have a stout and a fish & chips meal, and being a helpful person, I agreed. It was delicious and a very positive end to the whole event.
At this stage Dave, Susanna and Steve joined me in the journey back to Norwich via Tring railway station, London Euston and London Liverpool Street. Without giving too many details and getting someone into trouble, we were allowed to get an earlier train for free. I will though say that Susanna is a wonderful woman for arranging this! Indeed, she soared past Bev in wonderfulness during the afternoon.
On the train Steve battled through to get us coffees and cake and I started to eat my four sandwiches which I had got cheap from Boots for 50p each. A thrifty approach to food is essential in this day and age. We’re all now on the train on the journey home whilst I catch up on the parts of the blog that I didn’t get time to do in the week.
So, overall, thanks to Maggie, Steve, Steve M, Dave, Susanna and Bev. Everyone added something different to the week and I’m pretty sure that we’ll always remember Ridgeway 2018 🙂