Geocaches - 9
Start - Hertford North Station
Finish - Harpenden Station
Pubs - 2
Previous Stages - Stage 1, Stage 2
Bleary eyed, the day started with a 5:10am check on Twitter to see if the country had got back to normal following Storm Doris. As per the norm, I was soon sidetracked and reading a blog about some impressive pub ticking and retweeting the link.
So you can imagine my delight when this 16 mile walk provided double the amount of ticks. At this rate, I will only need to live to 230 to complete the Good Beer Guide. The irony of that sentence is not lost on me.Dedication. That's what you need. Not feeling so bad about being up at 5.10am, travelling 300 miles and & hopefully adding a single tick. https://t.co/xLIBMBtDwr— mappiman (@Mappiman1) February 25, 2017
Following an incident packed train journey, where I helped unprepared Walsall FC fans open their breakfast alcopops and an unconnected lady in the seat behind me discreetly threw up in her handbag, I arrived at Finsbury Park Station waiting room.
I'm not the only person in goretex and gaiters. I very nearly gatecrashed the Blackheath Ramblers in their jaunt from Watton-at-Stone. A decent conversation followed whilst we waited for the 9:02 train. I may well be joining. Beer blogger, Des De Moor, appears to be a member. Their future walking programme looks excellent.
I'm on Stage 3 of the Lea Valley Walk. This was a tough leg, knowing I have 16 miles to complete in 6 hours - including any pub visits.
Through pretty Hertford and pick up the Cole Green Way at the town's football ground. This is a former railway line and provides the first caches of the day, easy walking but no sight of the actual river.
|Cole Green Way. Geocaches. Muggles.|
At least the adventure brings me to the River Lea and a decent stretch lasts until another disappearing permissive path through Hatfield Home Park forces me to walk alongside the deeply unpleasant A414 dual carriageway.
|The River Lea, at last. Cecil Saw Mill|
|Another Smiley for Mappiman|
|The Lea coming into Wheathampstead|
Superb choice and I must be getting adept at sniffing out the best places in new locations. Its Cask Marque Accredited (bottle opener bagged, T Shirt 12 new pub visits away), its in the Good Beer Guide 2017 and it sells Timothy Taylor Landlord.
|13 Miles. Earned.|
|Since the 1500s|
Enough to fortify me for the last hours walking into Harpenden. Nothing to really report walking wise, start on a high ridge overlooking the valley and then drop down to a disused railway line before pounding the streets to get to the planned GBG Entry - the Cross Keys.
Harpenden is as nice as Wheathampstead but much bigger. A long, broad high street takes me past many of the pubs I know from previous visits to one that is seemingly furthest away from the Station.
It was worth it for a traditional boozer. Silver tankards hanging from the roof beams, lead windows, bar with three real ale choices, a roaring fire and all the newspapers a man could read in the 30 minutes he has before the train back home.
Almost justified the £4 pint of Landlord.
|Traditional and another Cask Marque Check In|
|40ps worth - gone in a sip|
A final leg of the Lea left - as it takes me to its source in Leagrave, near Luton. I may make a trip of it and stop of in CAMRA's home town of St Albans and revisit some old friends.