Walking into Spring

The saying “March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb” was certainly true this weekend, when Caralyn and I met for another training weekend. We had two clear, sunny days of walking and even managed to wear T shirts.

Day 1 involved a 26-mile canalside circuit,  encompassing Boxmoor, Berkhamsted and all three Tring reservoirs. Day 2 was a 13-mile trip up to the woods of Ashridge and back along the canal. Throughout the weekend, we paid careful attention to Caralyn’s energy levels: she was still recovering from radiotherapy and had been struggling with fatigue so we needed to be led by what she could manage. (As it turned out, she managed incredibly well, but we are still being cautious about the events we’ve planned and will take each one as it comes).

We didn’t spend the whole time walking: we stopped for snacks and coffee, for wildlife appreciation,  for photos and for conversations with other walkers. It seemed that the sunshine brought out the best in everyone and we’ve never had so many smiles and greetings from strangers as we did this weekend. Apart from all the smiley people who just said hello, we had longer chats with two women who were also training for London to Brighton, a man who had lost his dog, a Mum and little girl with a delightful dachshund, and a young couple walking hand in hand, who said  “Didn’t we see you yesterday too?” (Yes). Best of all, we bumped into two different friends of mine, and a mutual friend who Caralyn and I had known when our children were little i.e. a long time ago.

The only drawback with it being the first weekend of Spring was that our Sunday walk coincided with two races: a bike race in Ashridge and a running race along the canal. The bike race wasn’t a problem but we had an unpleasant 15 minutes of being squashed on the towpath as hordes of runners stampeded past us in the opposite direction. Still, such temporary frustrations were more than made up for by the sunshine, clear skies, lambs, woodpeckers and blossom. And yes, we did see a kingfisher, but you will have to take my word for it as it sped off in a burst of blue before we could even pick up our cameras.

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