One of the things that England is famous for is its green hills and fertile lowlands, and what better to do on a Saturday than go hiking with friends to the English nature – comparing to the other things you can do in London on a Saturday 😛 ! My friend Radu was the one that originally organised this series of events a year ago, with Susana being his successor! I am proud to say that we now have 7 hikes under our belt, each one to a different part of the English countryside. We are more or less 15 regulars, from different parts of the world, making it a multi-cultural group of hikers.
In the last hike we headed west, and specifically to Oxfordshire to take the Henley via Stonor Circular Walk. The meeting point was in Paddington station, but with some people that we live nearby we said to meet at the local tube station to go all together to Paddington. Radu was 10 minutes late, something that we didn’t pay much attention to, even though he is never late! But that was a sign of how the rest of the day was going to unfold! We met the rest of the group at Paddington and Susana went to buy the tickets, fifteen minutes before the train was leaving, but there was a big queue and we missed our train! This wouldn’t be a problem if there wasn’t another group of people from Reading meeting us at the final destination. Luckily enough, there was another train leaving ten minutes later, but we had to change trains twice in order to arrive on time. So, we got on the train and got off at the station where we had to do the first change, we only had two minutes, so we rushed ourselves to the platform and all good, managed to get on the next train. After a while, we had to get off again in order to take our last train. We (thought that we) found the platform and we had eight minutes until the train was leaving, enough time for someone to go to the toilet. Claudia joined me in this visit to the toilet and afterwards she tied her shoelaces while I was looking at the platform where people were still waiting, so we were taking our time. Then, started walking towards our friends, but we couldn’t find them! And then I noticed that this platform was platform number 4 and our train was leaving from number 5, which was a little bit farther down. We started running as fast as we could and when we reached the train it started moving. We missed it! The next one was leaving in thirty minutes and a taxi would take fifteen minutes and £15! But out of sudden two more people came running to the platform and I noticed that it was Jesús with a friend of his. They have also missed the train from Reading! So, we decided to take the taxi option and we arrived at our final destination, where the rest of the people were waiting for us, like kings in our black limo! Eventually, we started the hike!
The scenery was beautiful, so much green everywhere, so much vegetation. We walked through woods, through fields of wheat, through paths covered with trees, we saw cows and sheep, we ate lunch at the top of a hill with a really nice view. And we also lost two people!
As we were walking, Radu told us to stop so that he can visit the “toilet”, and I grabbed this opportunity to go as well. When I came back to the group someone asked where Priyanka was and then someone else asked where Cirma was. Well, probably they also went to the “toilet”. But did someone actually see them going? That was the question! We started calling them, to no aveil though. Then, we called Priyanka and asked her where they were and she said that they were walking, we started shouting their names but said they couldn’t hear us, so where were they? We shared our location with them (thank God we had signal though in the middle of nowhere!) and after 10-15 minutes they managed to find us. We then continued our lovely hike! In the end, we ended up in a pub to relax a bit before taking the train back to London, fortunately didn’t miss that one!
What a day!