Sunday, 15 March 2009

Oxted Circular – (Surrey) – 15/03/09 – 11 miles – IVC.

Sitting nearly opposite from me on the train out from Victoria, were two guys in their mid-twenties discussing the day’s walk ahead (Hmm is there new blood in IVC I wondered ?). Thus once at Oxted station all these younger types of the same ilk started to alight from the train, all armed to the teeth with: walking poles, expeditionary rucksacks, sporty water bottles and the like. They quickly sussed however that our nine strong crumpled group was nothing to do with them, and sauntered off to do their own thing. Apparently that was the Time Out Sunday walking group (see the books for more details).
Anyway our crumpled group set off on a beautiful Spring day that soon had everyone taking off layers of clothing. Having done a 4 mile rucksack walk the previous day, I for one was feeling particularly heavy legged, but hoped that would pass. As we came into some woods this was where we picked up the Greensand Way (which if you do it in its entirety is apparently 105 miles long), and which made up the bulk of the day’s walk. However this first part of the walk did involve a fair amount of country roads, so initially I wasn’t overly impressed.

Some three and a bit miles in however and we had got to our pub lunch stop. Now having got a free meal last week on the Capital Ring walk with Helen, one couldn’t expect this sort of thing again, surely ? Well I had the chicken and mushroom pie (with mash and peas) which was on the specials board for £7.50. I also ordered a pint of Carlsberg, and was then charged in total £6.50. I always have a policy of highlighting (usually in bakers shop’s) their mistake to them once, and if they don’t catch on then I don’t argue the point. Anyway the guy looked at me as if I was a bit mental and said I could pay more if I wanted, so I left it at that.
The second part of the walk which was a good 8 miles (if not further) was far better than the start, involving traipses through woodland, and walking across some lovely lush fields and valleys, all highlighted by the wonderful day, and eventually the just slightly dipping afternoon sun. The second part also involved an awful lot of climbing. We eventually retraced the not so scenic first three miles back to Oxted station, but by that time we had plenty of highlights to call it an excellent days walking.

Back at Oxted station I wouldn’t say I was totally out on my feet, but physically I had certainly had enough for the weekend, following the previous day’s rucksack walk as well. Meanwhile as we waited for the 1717 back to Victoria, the Time Out group began to join us on the platform, still fully equipped for every contingency.

Rucksack walks since my last blog entry (2 x Four milers).

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