The Ridgeway: Watlington to Princes Risborough
I had arranged to meet a friend at Watlington at 11:15PM on a Saturday morning, it was a complicated journey involving various trains to Oxford and then a bus to Watlington. All my connections worked out and I found myself the only person on the bus for most of the journey. Watlington is a pretty nice town though I spent 10 minutes trying to get served in the coffee shop before giving up. I headed to the pub where we'd had a drink b the last time we had been out walking and brought a coffee there, having met my friend outside. It was another great spring day, a little cold but wonderfully sunny. I was carrying all my camping gear thinking to wild camp somewhere and continue on the next day.
We headed back to The Ridgeway and set off, the route was at the base of the chalk rather than on the ridge itself. The walking was on wide paths occasionally going through woods and along side fields, after an about an hour we went under the M40 motorway.
After the M40 the route went past the bottom of Beacon Hill before heading off in the direction of Chinnor, passing between lakes formed from the mining of chalk, the lakes were a wonderful blue colour though fenced off with lot of signs about not swimming. The chalk hills to the right of the track were very steep but the route thankfully was at the bottom of escarpment. Reaching a road we saw a sign giving the distance back to Walington as 6.2 miles and 4.8 miles to Princes Risborough, where we intended to finish for the day.
We stopped briefly for a break and something to eat passing through some woodland and passing some houses where the path changed away from the previous direction and headed through Wain Woods where we saw an odd sculpture, continuing on through a field with many young lambs and their mothers. It was around here the weather suddenly changed it became cold and we were even snowed upon briefly and we hurriedly put our jackets and gloves on. It was fairly easy walking for the next kilometre or so until we reached Lodge Hill by which time the weather had improved and it was once more warm though still cloudy.
We ascended to the top of Lodge Hill, trying to spot a tumuli that was indicated on the map, before descending once more though a golf course, crossing a railway and passing over another one. We crossed field before emerging on to a road which we followed to a main road which lead us into Princes Risborough. I decided to go home as my right foot had started troubling me, I had a pain around my ankle and towards the outer edge of my foot and it was getting painful to work. A similar thing had happened the last time I had been out walking and I decided then that given the problems I had had last year on the South Downs Way that I would go and see a chiropodist and try to fix these problems.