I was a bit nervous about this last day, walking 18 miles into Wendover. Walking the Ridgeway is not difficult, but each adventure, however small, is an adventure into the unknown and I wasn't entirely convinced my feet would carry me that far. To give myself extra peace of mind I left at 6:30, walking the first hour or so in total darkness.
The little patch of light is from my headtorch. It felt exciting to be walking in woodland in the dark. Once the sun started to rise, this section to Wendover revealed itself to be one of most pleasant of the 4 days. The Chilterns are a wonderful mix of wooded valleys and rolling hills.
There's a steep descent through the woods that leads to the Plough at Cadsden pub where I saw David Cameron having a beer.
I wasn't definite it was him until I looked at my guidebook and read that Chequers was just up the road.
By about 1pm I was 6 miles from Wendover so knew I would make it with plenty of time to spare, so I had a proper rest and lunch. Up until now I'd only rested for 5 or 10 minutes every now and then, so it was great to have a proper sit down. I wanted to make my Ridgeway walk a bit of a challenge and I enjoy doing things a bit differently. At times I even jogged! Having said that, it's also nice to take it easy and rest...
I arrived in Wendover at 15:30 and was greeted by my parents. Wendover was lovely and the perfect end to a lovely walk. We had hot chocolates in a chocolatier in the high street to celebrate my 62 miles in 4 days.
All in all I had a fantastic time walking the Ridgeway trail. It was a lot more impressive than I had imagined. The scenery was awesome at times with hillsides rising a lot more extremely than the traditional image of the English countryside. It was also fairly remote in parts in that all I could see around me were fields, woodland and hills. My blisters made the final stages of most days an endurance test which was fine but did mean that I couldn't really enjoy my surroundings as much as I would have liked to. But, talking to fellow hikers along the way was always a joy no matter how painful my feet felt.
This is the second time I've walked part of a long distance trail and I really like doing them: you get into a rhythm walking day in day out and the mind just focuses on walking, which is a really nice feeling. In spring I'd like to either do the West Highland Way or do some of the GR10 in the Pyrenees. Bring on the golden eagles!