Walking

Best-Laid Plans…

Furzton Lake

The plan was to do a 4.5 mile walk starting in Aldbury, Hertfordshire. This is just outside the Ashridge Estate and not far from Ivinghoe Beacon where we walked last week. Please note that I didn’t have a clue where Aldbury was other than in Hertfordshire when we left the house.

We packed up our bags after having a breakfast of pancakes. I strapped on my hydration pack from to be certain it still fit….it was a tight squeeze around the chest compared to back in September when I wore it on a half marathon. While I used the bathroom, Alan collected up the walk directions and looked up the directions. All was good and we were off. He said the drive was over an hour which surprised me but driving through villages can be slow so ok.

After about 45 minutes of driving I was getting desperate for the toilet. We stopped at two different stations and no toilets anywhere. We drove down narrow, one-lane roads. We just kept driving thinking that when we got to the village for the walk I could at least find a tree. We got to the destination village and it was microscopic and had no pubs. It didn’t look anything like the pictures so we pulled over. I decided to look at the walk details as something felt wrong. I knew we were closer to Hertford than anything else big but the walk details looked close to our area. I could see that Aldbury wasn’t that far from Dunstable. I read the details and the village should have been “sandwiched between Ashridge Estate and the Grand Union Canal”. I go to show Alan that this doesn’t seem at all right to me and he declared his error with an expletive. He had looked up directions to Albury not Aldbury. So we started heading back toward the right village….over an hour away. I still need to pee.

We turned to avoid the very narrow road and made our way out to a bigger road only to get diverted. This road wasn’t ass narrow but it did meander. We drove for a good while and came up to Herford. Now remember that I needed to pee so bad my blue eyes were going green. Not a sizeable petrol station in sight. We kept driving and driving and driving. I had tears rolling down my face and was saying even a well wooded lay-by would suit me. We drove on. Finally, we stop in an old bus stop with bushes….and a fence preventing access to bushes. At this point I didn’t care. I got out on the side of a big road and I peed. My white ass was out for the world to see and I was flooding Hertfordshire. When I finished we drove on only to find a Tesco extra a couple miles down the road….Sod’s Law!

We picked up some lunch to eat in the car and drove on. We wondered all over Hertfordshire today and eventually we were in the Ashridge area. I nearly said for us to just stop here and have a walk but decided we should push on and do the walk we planned. We got down to Aldbury only to find the village overrun with visitors and cars. It was a pandemic nightmare. We decided not to add to the chaos. In the end we stopped back at home for another pee break and then went for a local walk in Milton Keynes.

After 4 hours of driving we finally arrive at our new destination 2 miles from home. We just parked up a a village centre and headed out to find Furzton Lake.

We walked away from Standing way and through the estate a bit until I stopped a path into the woods. What the heck! It was not a “proper” path by MK standards but it was a rustic beaten path. We wondered though those woods until we came to a path labelled as Tattenhoe Park. We followed the foot/bike traffic until we landed at the lake. Just did a circle of it and back through Furzton to the car.

It really was busy out there today. The weather was beautiful after a couple weeks of cold so not too surprising.

In the end, we walked 3.24 miles in 1 hour and 6 minutes. It was a lot of driving for a one hour local walk but I guess that is what we were fated to do. It is a pretty walk around the lake. Maybe next week’s walk will go more to plan….let’s be honest….my plans rarely work as I imagine.

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