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Theydon Bois, a ten mile stroll!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Chicchantal and I were determined to have a walk over Easter. So Good Friday saw me winging my way across London, on the Central Line out towards Epping again. This time we were going to a little village called Theydon Bois, (lovely name isn’t it). As usual, I was ten minutes early, and Chicchantal, having less distance to travel, was ten minutes late! I have found this to be almost a universal law, that the further I have to travel, the earlier I arrive. If it’s only round the corner, I’m invariably late!

Although the wind was still vicious, and I didn’t want to take my gloves off, the sky was blue, and the Sun was shining.

You could feel the warmth of it through ones double lined, polar fleece!

Theydon Bois is one of the prettier, countryfied stations.

Chicchantal arrived on the next train, though I hardly recognised her without her trademark woolly ‘at. We set off, at some speed towards Debden “bloody” Green. So christened by Chicchantal, because of the amount of times she’d arrived there unintentionally. I think the idea was to start there this time, and walk away, so that we wouldn’t arrive unintentionally again! On the way we stopped to admire Theydon Bois’s village pond.

The Black Headed Gulls sitting on it, must have been as lost and confused as I already was, since there is neither sea, nor a cliff within a hundred miles of this spot!

There are lots of pretty cottages too, but they’re rather hidden behind tall fences.

I love weeping willows, and this one is just starting to come into leaf.

At Debden Green we turn right along a track that says it leads to a camp site. Chicchantal and I are already gently bickering about whether this is the right turning. As usual the Chicchantal Radar is right! Now we’re into part of the forest that I have never been in. Chicchantal assures me that she has accidentally walked into Debden “bloody” Green on every path!!!

We are now going quite steeply uphill. Chicchantal remarks that she feels very unfit today! Between wiping my eyes, which are watering in the wind, my nose, which is running like a tap, and my brow, because I’m sweating like a pig, I actually don’t have the breath to answer her!

So I stop and take a picture, and pretend I’m not having to get my breath back.

There’s still snow lying in the sheltered spots under the trees, but it’s lovely to see a little sunshine.

And some reflections in a tiny pond.

From Debden Green, we aim for our favourite tea hut, and stop there for our lunch and a cuppa, I have traditional egg sandwiches, Chicchantal has peanut butter, AND she’s brought a buttered hot X bun each for later. Yum!

It’s quite busy, and obviously succor for both man and beast!

After a short rest, and you didn’t want to sit too long in that wind, we crossed back over the road and started to head towards eventually, Queen Elizabeths hunting lodge, where we finished one of our walks before, but at this point Chicchantal, bored with the path, decides to go ‘off piste’

There is still a lot of mud

We are looking for a small body of water called Blackweir Pond, which will be impossible to find once the undergrowth and trees are in full leaf. Using a combination of paper map, and GPS, we find it.

And very pretty it is too. There is still ice on the surface.

The trees here are very old, pollarded beeches.

I am by now, even more completely lost.

We tried, when we got back to a path Chicchantal recognised, to memorize some landmarks to find it again, but I am totally lost! In fact, I’m sitting at home now, looking at the map, trying to recreate the path we took, and although I can see places we visited, I still can’t work out the exact route we took! So apologies if the order of events is wrong!

The next couple of miles passed uneventfully.

I took more pictures, of a stream,

And a culvert.

We came to point where we had to make up our minds which station to go back to, and I chose Loughton. This gave Chicchantal an opportunity to join up two previous walks.

Then we came to a three way split in the path, Chicchantal with the map said left, and I, with GPS said right, and I discovered a fundamental flaw with my phones GPS system! I had always assumed that, ‘up’ was the direction I was traveling in, and it obviously wasn’t! Not only that, but if I tried to turn the map round, it righted itself the wrong way up!

So for the last couple of miles I heard, ‘are you sure you’ve got the map the right way up?’ Justified too! I should know not to argue, Chicchantal radar is invariably right.


Member Comments About This Blog Post:
1BEACHWALKER 4/3/2013 9:35PM

    You two sound like my husband and I - our last walk he was going by the GPS in these woods where you can always and we have made wrong turns and can go in circles. I kept saying to him are you sure we didn't miss our turn off? The GPS says we are going right. We were supposed to only go about 3 miles and ended up doing 4 miles. The GPS sometimes is not always right...we have had many occasions in our car where it took us to nothing, when we asked for a certain place. I do not trust them. Sometimes intuition/a person's radar is always the best and a compass for back up!
Good news that day was I went the longest I have on a hike and didn't keel over from it!
Nice photos!! emoticon

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SATCHMO99 4/1/2013 5:06AM

    My DH says I have "witchnav" and it's way better than my map reading skills!

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THE_SHAKESHAFT 4/1/2013 3:55AM

    What a lovely looking day you had :)

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RAINBOWCHOC 3/31/2013 6:30PM

    navigation much easier next Saturday, keep the sea on your right, land on your left!

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HA_MONICA83 3/31/2013 6:22AM

    what a beautiful like it was quite the trip tho with navigating it all! But hey, you made it through and got a good walk in to boot! :) So glad you got to enjoy a little adventure that was memorable and healthy!

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EOWYNRUSS 3/31/2013 2:28AM

    Gogeous walk. Our weather was warmer, but all our trees are still brown, no leaves at all.

I'm also weighing in on following the map over the GPS. In general, I do not trust electronic devices that tell me what to do.

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AKELAZ 3/31/2013 1:30AM

    You see things in such a special way and take the most beautiful pics of twisted wood and of reflections in water. Thank you so much for sharing your walk - you've really made me want to go to Theydon Bois - yes, I too have always admired the lovely name but I've never made it there. Think I'll wait till it's a bit warmer though - I'm not as intrepid as you are!!

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CATLADY52 3/30/2013 6:13PM

    Your walks are so interesting. I find I'm always wondering what is around the bend or beyond that small copse ahead. emoticon

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FALLNTENN 3/30/2013 5:12PM

    Thanks for sharing your day with us. The walk was beautiful.

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MARIANNE9855 3/30/2013 2:21PM

    Great walk- everything is so pretty- I prefer plain old maps to GPS.
Since I figured out I can look for places on my cellphone when I am with my mom- we have started looking at maps for things we wonder about. One time this week was where was England latitudinally compared to us. We were trying to figure out why you had cool weather still but usually milder than us in upstate NY. We were surprised to see you were up across from Canada. My mom always loved geography- me not so much.

anyway I loved your walk and all the pretty pics and your food reports! emoticon

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    Thank you for sharing your trek with pictures and narrative. Isn't it gratifying to have friends who are always right? the correct answer is: Always and ever!!

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WINKM33 3/30/2013 12:13PM

  I love your commentary and pictures. It's like being there and enjoying the fun.

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JUNEAU2010 3/30/2013 11:55AM

    Thanks for sharing! Your comments inspire and entertain and the pictures enthrall. I would love to meet both of you!

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SAINTBETH 3/30/2013 10:56AM

    What a great adventure!

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LADY_MARIANA 3/30/2013 10:23AM

    Thank you so much for posting such detailed descriptions of your walks with so many fantastic pictures.

O, to be in England now that April is just around the corner!

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DOVESEYES 3/30/2013 10:13AM


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ALL-IS-AMAZING 3/30/2013 10:05AM

    It looks like a beautiful walk! I enjoyed all the pictures :)

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DR1939 3/30/2013 9:38AM

    Lovely walk. We've had beautiful weather here but I've been so busy I've only had the chance to look at it through the window. When I finally get free after Easter lunch, it is going to be snowing again. I guess I'll just have to live vicariously through you and Chicchantal. Have a lovely Easter.

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TRUCKERSMRS 3/30/2013 9:18AM

    A lovely description and pics of your walk, as always. It always feels like we are doing it with you.

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CHICCHANTAL 3/30/2013 8:46AM

    I should do with you what I do with my mother. I insist she takes the map and does the navigating and it shuts her up for HOURS. We also get much longer walks, though they tend to be not just circular but spiral. emoticon

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COCK-ROBIN 3/30/2013 8:00AM

    Beautiful! I love your walks.

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NEW-CAZ 3/30/2013 7:57AM

    emoticon walk, lovely pics.

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