Ten of us left Berkhamsted station in drizzly rain and walked past the remains of the 11th century castle, whose motte and bailey layout could be seen clearly. It was muddy as we made the gradual ascent to Berkhamsted Common, but we Poly Ramblers have seen much worse. Passing some horses we made our way to the Alpine Meadow. This area is the haunt of lizards, but we didn’t see any. Presumably they were hiding under stones, sheltering from the rain. Our disappointment at not seeing any lizards was soon forgotten when we caught a glimpse of five or six deer running through the wood and into the adjacent meadow. Moments later we were further rewarded by the sight of a much larger herd of deer running in the same direction.
As we made our way along Princes Riding towards the Bridgewater Memorial we saw a familiar figure in a red jacket. This was Stuart, who was waiting to meet us, as were Yvonne and Geoffrey, who emerged from the gift shop. We went down an almost mud-free path to the Greyhound at Aldbury where we dined in style. While there we wished Sunita all the best on the occasion of her recent birthday. The short walk from Aldbury to Tring station is my favourite part of the walk, but unfortunately presented us with the muddiest conditions of the day. When we reached the station we had just six minutes to wait before the train left. The conductor refrained from asking us for our tickets when he saw that we were busy removing gaiters and other outer garments.
I must apologise to those people who were led astray by the inaccuracies in my walk description. If I’m allowed to lead another walk I’ll be more careful, but I don’t know if I’ll bring my whistle.