25 January 2014: Aylesbury Vale Parkway to Amersham with LDWA

25 January 2014: Aylesbury Vale Parkway to Amersham with LDWA
Walk descriptor Test walk Day 00
Date Sat 25 Jan 2014 Start to end time 09h 07m
Start point Aylesbury Vale Parkway station End point Amersham station
Miles today 24.02 Cu miles 0,000.00
Ft today 1603 Cu ft 000,000
Route miles left 0,000 Route ft left 000,000
Today’s weather Started mild and overcast with little wind.  Some sun in early afternoon.   By evening, a lot colder with near gale force winds at times and torrential squally shower at dusk
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Today’s location
(the red cross in a circle shows where I am at the moment)
GPX based track of today’s walk
(click here to access to access downloadable file)

This was my first outing as a leader for the London Group of the Long Distance Walker’s Association.   It was quite a challenging walk, with extensive flooding, particularly over the first 10 miles to Wendover.   Just outside Aylesbury the path was completely flooded – and not just a bit flooded, but lake-style flooded.   So three detours were required right at the start to avoid the water.   Then serious mud most of the rest of the way made the going unusually difficult.

But nevertheless, we managed a good walk from Aylesbury Vale Parkway station, via Wendover and Great Missenden, to Amersham and covered the route on just over nine hours, in time for the group to catch the 18:24 train back to London.

Saw the near-obligatory Red Kite en route, and also lots of small flying insects usually reserved for the summer but presumably brought out by the mild weather this winter.   The weather was indeed mild today at the start, but deteriorated suddenly and spectacularly just after leaving Great Missenden.   We were hit but a torrential downpour, a rapid temperature fall, and near gale force winds.   The squall passed quite quickly, to leave a clear evening which became starry as night fell.   The last couple of miles to Amersham were in the dark, requiring the use of head-torches.

An enjoyable and invigorating walk, but I do hope the next LDWA walk I lead is just a bit less challenging!

Today’s photos (click to enlarge)
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Oh dear.   This is where the path near Quarrenden is supposed to go.   It was wet when I tested the walk in Dec but this is beyond a joke.   Several detours required Canoeist on the Aylesbury arm of the Grand Union Canal
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Alongside the now non-navigable Wendover arm of the Grand Union Canal Looking back from the canalside to Wendover Woods
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On the Ridgeway beyond Coombe Hill Great Missenden
Nightfall in the woods between Hyde Heath and Amersham.   Head torches required for the rest of the walk.
The previous day’s blog follows below the blue line
Solid line blue