16km [10m] in a north westerly direction across open countryside. Starting from Henton which is halfway between princess Risborough and Chinnor. Heading for Oakley which is due east of Oxford by about 15km [13m].
Straightforward and easy walking mostly along farm tracks which was just as well as my hobbling when leaving the breakfast table was a pitiful sight! Soon got into my stride, though not up to the pace of day 1.
Had phoned Rosemary to suggest meeting places as she and dog were to walk me home. She decided on a location near Long Crendon which meant that I could take a short cut through Thame town centre. The first and only town I have been through on the journey.
Now onto my fourth map. Followed the Thame Valley Walk up to the road between Long Crendon and Shabbington and was pleased to see a black and white collie running towards me. When she saw me she immediately turned round and fled back to Rosemary for protection.
Rosemary then hove into view and the penny dropped with Josie as to who I was and she rushed to greet me but was very soon off again.
pleasant walking over flat countryside and then things went wrong though we didn't know it at the time.
We entered a large field whose upper boundary was obscured by the fact that the whole field was a hill. There was no obvious footpath but as it also contained sheep there were plenty of candidates. No matter, I took out the compass and determined our course to be NNW so headed for a gap in the tops of the trees we could just see over the brow of the hill.
Of course when we got close to the field boundary there was no sign of a stile. Except there was one in the bottom corner of the field. So off we went to that.
I should have checked the compass again but I was confident now, getting close to home and all we had to do was walk straight along the path.
Sure enough at the stile, there was a choice of routes as expected and we took the leftmost 'in the same direction we had been walking'. Trouble is that neither of us can see well enough to recognise a style across a big field.
At first, all seemed well and we walked down the contour a bit and soon picked up the little brook that would almost take us home.
Only problem was that there wasn't a proper path and there were fences that had to be negotiated. Also I was expecting to see Meads Farm and that hadn't appeared either or we had missed it as we chatted.
Suffice it to say we ended up on the Ickford Road just outside Worminghall and then had an unpleasant two and a half mile walk along the road to Oakley.
Decided that we would collect Rosemary's car and then go for a pint and a pie at the Chandos Arms. Arrived there at 1345 only to be told that they finished at 1400, I looked a bit surprised at this as usually they are very enterprising only to be told it was 1445! I hadn't driven the car in over a month and its clock was still set on GMT. No matter, the Royal Oak was still serving until 1500 so that is where we went.
We had been in Oakley for almost 2 years by then and this was the first time we had been to the Royal Oak. It was then that I discovered the fine beer brewed by our local micro brewery, Vale brewery, and have been trying to make good my omission ever since. The pint of Wychert Ale marked the end of an interesting and enjoyable few days.
Link to Oakley's parish website Oakley.
Continue to Day 5