This morning’s 5½ mile walk was memorable for the high turnout (30), the warm, almost hot, sunny weather and the disappearance of the leader ¾ of the way round the route.
We set off from Shamley Green, headed east, passed Sandhurst Copse and Mayor House Farm, turned south to join the Greensand Way in Winterfold Heath and followed this west back to the start.
Near Willinghurst Farm we left the GSW temporarily for two footpaths and a bridleway in the open. The second footpath led around the edge of a plantation of young conifers before bearing right into woodland. The turn right is easy to miss and today was more so because a large area of bracken near it, recently flattened (it wasn’t like that when we were on the footpath two weeks ago), covered and concealed the path.
The leader and her long line of ramblers marched past it. Fortunately, she soon realised that she’d missed the turn and asked the group to wait while she retraced her steps to look for it. Two, to be helpful, spread out over the bracken to search as well. They quickly found the path and summoned the rest. We resumed the march.
Unfortunately, no one had noticed that the leader had gone back further along the way we’d come. All presumed that she was back in the lead.
A few minutes later, at a junction, those at the front turned to ask the leader for directions. Messages went up and down the line. Where was the leader? One person went back to look for her while another phoned her mobile. She appeared a few minutes later looking somewhat hotter than she did when we last saw her.
Map: OS X 145