It was misty and low visibility all day. Just as we arrived at our outstanding B&B – Ridgeway Lodge – serious rain started and it has continued unabated. As I walked up the driveway here I noticed a Canadian flag flying from the flag staff. What a kind welcome. John and Miv are kind hosts. Miv picked Pat up at the train station and took her grocery shopping for dinner supplies as we have a kitchen here and are quite a distance out of town.
Our walk was a bit different again. Through woods and meadows. Some ups and downs. No difference in that. The tone of the scenery, I think, is what marked this section of the trail as distinct from the previous sections we’ve walked. We crossed a few more roads, and a rail track. The rail track was a bit scary. The trains come round the nearby corner at speed! We’re both alive so no worries – we made the crossing safely.
The mistiness of the day ensured our attention was focused to the near. There were no wide visas to be admired. The damp leaves, the smooth tree bark, nodding grasses, bird song, hawks (Red Kites) soaring, sheep resting in long grass, walking beneath a massive spreading oak tree. Distant sounds and distractions muted. My mind focused on the power and majesty of this route.
Yesterday we walked straight across three fairways of a golf course. The ancient right of way of the Ridgeway taking precedence over an upstart golf course. Today we walked across a busy rail line and an extensive tunnel has been built to take the Ridgeway walkers safely under a major six lane motor way.
The Ridgeway brought migrants as soon the land was freed from the last ice age. It continues to welcome humans to move freely, following the same ageless path. Today hostels, inns and B&Bs enable people like us to enjoy its legacy with ease. I can’t help but ponder about and marvel at the drive that brought the first people along this way. I am so very grateful that this route has been recognized for its importance and protected from the “advances” and incursions of our modern life. There are few other places in the world that we can, today, walk in the footsteps of our ancestors with such freedom.
We haven’t walked the entire Ridgeway. For me this is unfinished business. I hope to come back in the not too distant future and walk it in its entirety. I hope to do this with Pat once her injury is healed.
Good night from near Princes Risborough. This is my last blog from this trip. My next blog will be from Nepal in October. I hope you will join me and some other friends as we embark on another adventure.