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Breaking ten mile barrier

Normally I don't travel or do any serious treks on weekends because of the crowds. I had planned to leave early, but The English king had other plans and there were hundreds of thousands of extra people on the trains and other public transport to see his trooping of the colors. That means stuff goes slower, takes a lot longer and my plans to break the ten mile barrier occured two hours later than I wanted.
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Barley. In other words beer.

The idea was to go somewhere I have often been before. I use the trains and tube (metro) to go from one corner of London to the other. It took nearly 3 1/2 hours (fastest has been an hour and forty-five minutes) to reach the town of Amersham. It's a good walk from the train station to the little wooden bridge crossing a small river, there's probably another way but I haven't used it before.
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The Amersham Memorial

Enroute is a memorial which is dedicated to the people who were burned to death hundreds of years ago when English Kings thought they were gods—so called divine right of kings. With me being a Manx/American (born and partially educated on the Isle of Man and spending most of my early life in the USA,) neither country or I like monarchs. Notes on the memorial state how children were forced to light the fire which burned their father. I continued on after a short rest on a bench there.

The weather was to be around 80 F and the humidity was in the high 90's. I don't like it that damp, if feels like you can almost swim in the air. Before reaching the wooden bridge I ran across Hassan. He was carrying a large backpack and other bag. We stopped and talked for a while then I had to leave because I needed to get on with the hike. We spoke for about 20 minutes and I thought afterwards that he is searching, in regards to life. A nice guy.
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Finally I crossed the bridge and turned right toward Little Missenden, a small village which I like and had been through before. The people are friendly and there is an overall nice sense about the place (the opposite of Great Missenden, which sucks). The trouble with this route is that it goes in the opposite direction I wanted to. If I carry on, the village of Chalfont St. Giles is reached some miles later and I want to do that trek later.

I entered Old Amersham a lot later than planned. There's a wildlife photo studio there, which I have visited before so I stopped in to say hi. Drew Burnett runs it and calls his place Wild Eye Photos. Drew's next planned trip is to Glacier National Park in Montana to photograph the wild animals there. We had a nice little chat, with a few laughs, during my visit. Then I headed for Little Missenden, a few miles away.
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There is a lake off to the right.

Going through a gate is a very large field with sheep and horses. Seeing as it is now June (horse breeding season is over), they were content to eat the grass. Walking across a horse field can be slow sometimes, because when the ground is wet their hooves leave wide and deep depressions in the soil which if stepped on wrong can sprain an ankle. Part of the way through I ran across these geese foraging. I thought I'd grab a photo of them. For this trek the camera was on my smartphone, a refurbished Samsung Galaxy J5 with a year's guarantee and only 70 UKP. The fone takes quite good photos, even if they are large, but a bit of extra work in Photoshop and it's okay.

Eventually I reach Little Missenden and by now I was quite tired, especially from the humid heat and ready to just stop. I carried on for a spell, already having passed some quite large houses with very high and perfectly trimmed hedges. Seeing a pub, I went to the door which was locked and remembered from some years before that it was always closed. Locals told me later that it only opens a few hours a day. Further on another pub was found and it was open, in I went.

The last thing I wanted was alcohol, just a glass of cold water and the friendly barmaid gave me just that. It was good to be inside the cool pub, sit down and relax. Next to me was a gamekeeper who looks after a 1000 acre area. We had a good conversation and after a while began my trek back to Amersham old town. I like older towns, regardless of what country they are in, because the buildings have character and are smaller.

By the time I reached Amersham, it was nearly 8pm. I had left the station at 12:25 pm, 7 and half hours before. I retraced the route I walked earlier. On the way I was joined by Richard, who had a bicycle, we walked and talked our way back to Amersham Old Town. He went his way and I walked back up the hill past the memorial to the main rail station. The train was due in 30 minutes so I had a little time to kill. Adding it all up, I'd broken the 10 mile barrier. My walking pace is 2 1/2 to 3 miles per hour, on this I reckon 2 mph overall with the hills. On the way there were country roads, dirt and asphalt, where I could stride out at a fair pace. There was an hour and a half of stops.

Twelve miles done.
Jun 19, 2023

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