Saunderton via West Wycombe Circular Trail

Home Counties (Leg 2 Report)

Distance covered:  12.4 miles / 20 km

There was a good turn up for this.  Eugene, Kofi, Kray and Randy were not with us. We felt their absence. Ready for this were Ofege, Sean, Ato, Darren, Amas, Meto, Nick A, Nick KA & Alfie.

Yours truly Alfred Walter arrived at the start/finish point at 8:06am. In 10 minutes we were on our way. Yes, it was the start/finish point. This was a hike with a difference. Mr D introduced this format. Even though the previous ridgeway route was nice and presented a good workout, a few thought it was becoming a bit mundane.

This format meant you walked in a loop, meaning you ended where you began.

The ingenuity of the organisation meant Darren was spared the headache of prior knowledge of the number of cars required at the start and finish points.

This loop was approximately 19km.

As usual, Perlus started to lead with Amas and Ofege for company. This wasn’t like other hikes.

Ofege had advised that all download komoot, the hike planner app. You guessed right, it required navigation skills. Just two kilometres into this came a difference in opinion in how to read the directions.

From previous outings we knew Perlus was a fast walker & disliked time wasting on the trails. Another trait of his came to bear. The man is stubborn “Nana Akua do you agree?”

Ofege had cautioned we shouldn’t just listen to the app but also look at the map on phones for validation in directions. Perlus stubbornly refuted that advice for the 4 hours the walk lasted. Oh boy he paid for it.

At one bifurcation Nick Attakorah and Perlus decided on one route in agreement with Amas, Darren and Ato.

Nick A, would later report that, Perlus used the logic that a gate is always a good sign. I mean Perlus was a school prefect with impeccable leadership skills but some of his reasoning can only be characterised as being a bulldozer. They ended back at a football field.

Perlus would later observe that we needed to be vigilant with bringing Walkie Talkies.

There are two points to make.

1. Since this was a loop, in the grand scheme of things taking a wrong mini turn wasn’t the end of the world. You would navigate yourself back to the main route.

2. The main strategy was to ensure that at each turn the visual and voice aid had synchronised, “Ofege’s point”.

Sean Quist seemed to have understood both principles quite well. He is a master hiker. He’s never in a rush and always enjoys the scenery unlike others such as Perlus, Nick A, and Amas.

 The second of three disagreements in navigation came around the 8km mark.

Okoe, Nick A, Perlus & Darren decided on one route. The rest of us ignored them. No major repercussions.

At about 15km we all arrived at Dashwood.

We stopped for a pictures and snacks.

Somehow we had all missed the hell fire caves.

 Amas also later reported the following

“We missed a very famous landmark by a few meters……The 14th century St. Lawrence ⛪️ church….you can see the gold minaret-like church tower behind us in the picture.

If we had taken the right turn past the mausoleum, we would have walked past it…..the androids advised we take the left turn instead 🏃🏿‍♂️🏃🏿‍♂️🏃🏿‍♂️

There is apparently a striking painting on the ceiling of The Last Supper by Giovanni Borgnis (Italian artist specially brought over by Sir Francis Dashwood)”

Well whose fault was it?  Amas gets lost for two main reasons.

1. When he’s without a stick

2. When there’s a golf course nearby.

 Refuelling potentiates strong opinion. The third and final disagreement came when, Nick A, Perlus, Ato, Amas decided on an alternative route.

Ofege, Nick KA, Alfred, Okoe, Meto & Darren decided  on what was the correct route. This diversion by the former group cost them a few metres and time.

They eventually caught up for what was a good stretch to the end.

 With 3km to go...SVO QUIST led the 750m.    He thought with Kofi absent (and missed)...Perlus would stay with the peleton.   Okoe got ready to cross the finish line.  Spotify was blasting some Lovers Rock...he was in his zone.   But then after just a km...he heard voices...he looked back...Nick (of Berkshire - nice to see him twice in a holidays...let's make hay whilst the sun shines) had joined the School Prefect.  They were not going to allow Sean his maiden place on the podium.   Asala stepped up....but......soon they passed him...and then the man with the stick passed by as well...

One thing we all learned was, looks like some took their Boy Scouts lessons more seriously than others. Folks ineptitude at navigation led to blaming each other’s phones. iPhone or Android.

All in all a good workout. Great thanks to Darren for organising.

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Alfred Walter April 8, 2024
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