Thursday, 15 January 2015

NDW Day 5: Oxted to Otford

With the gorgeous spring, the brilliant summer and the sun cream laden autumn, I thought winter hiking would be a breeze.  A little colder perhaps, with shorter days, but how could it be any different?  I looked forward to some brusque and chilly walks.

Not so?

I crossed the M25 and headed up the hills of Oxted Downs to find the trail a bog.

I hadn't thought of this.  I mean, it has rained quite a bit off and on but there have been lovely sunny afternoons, but with the dim presence of the sun so low on the horizon, there is no way for all the water to dry up.

It made for exhausting hiking.

When I wasn't hopping over puddles, my boots became so heavy with caked-on mud that I started to think of them as cement shoes.  Plus, every step you took you slipped back a bit, meaning there was a lot of extra effort involved.  Ten miles soon began to feel like 20 at the end of the day, and I really feel like I earned anything I chose to consume when I was safely back in the SW9.

No matter though- the grass is still blindingly green, the trail devoid of humanoids, and the motorway still humming a tune to keep you company.  Also, I feel perfectly safe walking it on my own.

What was special about this day was the crossover from the county of Surrey into Kent.  A milestone of sorts on an otherwise unremarkable day of hillwalking.

Oh, yes.  I've gotten very lazy about carrying my big DSLR on these jaunts, as nothing has been striking me as notable and picturesque.  Green fields, rolling hills and a motorway.  Sometimes I see green woodpeckers, and always kestrels and buzzards.  Pics taken on the celly just aren't as good.  I think maybe the iphone has better optics than the Galaxy 5, which does take remarkably good macro shots, but really rubbish in the great outdoors.

I will finish this trail eventually.  It's always surprisingly pleasant to be strolling on, but just not stunning the way the Highlands of Scotland might be.

oh yes, special effects makes shitty pictures so much better.

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