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Breaking the 5 mile barrier

Getting back into shape takes a bit longer after having a major operation but needs to done. Doing one or two mile walks helped at first, however, I need to be able to tackle ten to twenty mile hikes without my legs screaming at me. This means extending the distance a step at a time and my target was to break the five mile barrier, so I set out to do that on warm day with sunshine and clouds.
Stone path signs go back for hundreds of years.

Once at the station it was a short walk across the road to begin on trail. The signage is very old, a stone one sitting on the ground. Some trails still have these, many are hidden in bushes which have overgrown them. It was at least a mile before I entered the woodland. On the way was an area where many trees had been felled. Finally that gave way to the large wood, the trees appeared to be all the same type.
The route began wide.

Bit by bit the trail narrowed and eventually vanished altogether until I could go no further. For over three miles I wound through the woodland, the path did not go straight through. It was like a lot of snakes and very uneven ground, a real workout for my legs. I sat at one place in case there was any wildlife, but nothing appeared or was even heard, except one bird of some sort.

Trees had to be stepped or climbed over and there was not another human being within miles, the way I like it. I was all alone and it was very quiet. The wood was not huge, but the winding back, forth and around doubled the length of the trail. Not far off was a route which crossed a field of what looked like wheat or barley and I ended up on a narrow country road.
I had my compass with me and knew I needed to be heading kind of north. A car came by and I flagged it down to make sure that the town I had left two and a half hours before was ahead of me. The driver confirmed that so off I continued in that direction.
The horses were in a field next to the road. The only animals I saw, pity that they're tame.

Traffic was very sparse. These roads can be quite dangerous because of the curves. To make myself visible to oncoming cars meant I had to be on the outer side of the bend. At least I could stride out a bit more and about an hour or so later I entered the village.
This is named Eynsford, a place I visited over 10 years ago to photograph their old castle. By the time I entered the center of it, I must have covered 7 miles. A beer and sandwich were bought and consumed, then I proceeded another half mile to the station. The train schedule on the website I had checked for its time was wrong, it came 20 minutes later (they run 1 per hour on Saturdays).

I finally arrived home 6 hours after I left, because the first train was missed by 3 minutes, due to the bus being held up in traffic, so my journey was 5 hours and I had covered seven and a half miles. My daughter lives in the next village 3 miles away, but I'm not quite ready to do ten miles yet.

I had broken the 5 mile barrier and then some—very satisfied with tired legs.

Ten miles here I come...
May 21, 2023

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