Now for the boring bit of the trail.
I was kind of dreading this part of the hike that closely follows the M25, the enormous ribbon of motorway that encircles the city of London. I guess having a trail with such easy access to the city means these small inconveniences are bound to happen.
I couldn't have picked a better day for it- late October and I'm still putting on SPF.
However, the one wrench in my plan was that I didn't get an earlier start. I was planning on knocking 20 lonely miles out, but I reached the halfway point a little after 1pm....meaning I would have walked the last miles in the dark. I quit after a mere 9 miles of walking rather then deal with that. The clocks were set back last weekend and I just haven't adjusted yet, but the sun is dead and gone by 5pm now.
The trail was a little boggy in places but it climbed and stayed on the ridge for most of the walk, and I did enjoy myself. You couldn't as much see the motorway as much as you could hear the constant drone of it at the foot of the hill. Visions I had of walking right next to the road ended up being false, and it was a pretty countryside walk, if not a little noisy.
And looky there! You can see London, sprawled out in front of you from the top of your first hill.
I had the trail to myself, too. I saw a handful of people on horseback at one point, and bumped into one other through hiker doing day trips from London.
Not the most amazing day of walking, but any day walking in the countryside beats anything else I could think of doing, so it was all around a winning sort of day. Plus, those half-hour train rides are adding up to be a rather spectacular lace shawl.