Something I noticed after coming here is how there are always a lot of activities happening around me. Whatever your hobbies may be, you will always find something that interests you. The weekend before last, a friend mentioned to me that a bunch of people were planning to go hiking and if I would be interested in joining her. Now my friend in question here is a marathon runner and the others she was referring to are also serious hardcore runners. So obviously I envisaged these super fit people moving effortlessly whilst I struggled to keep pace. Anyway, I decided to go along for the experience. After all they wouldn’t really leave me and come back right.
We decided on the day after a lot of discussions and deliberation. On a dull, gloomy Saturday morning I woke up to overcast skies. I think if my friend had given me the slightest opening towards backing out, I would have dived into my warm duvet there and then. However, the hike was finally happening after so many cancellations, so we overcame all our reservations and laziness and trudged toward the Liverpool Street Station where we were to take the tube to Victoria Station to meet the others.
When we reached there, we were supposed to meet the others at Café Nero only to realize that there were 2 Café Nero’s. Now, we are all LSE students and are expected to be smart enough to figure out directions and meet the others and on the dot, all 8 of us were there. With the preliminary introductions over, we bought our tickets and took the National Rail towards Woldingham. The train journey is approximately a 30 minute ride and the scenery on the way is breathtaking as one moves away from the hustle bustle of the city towards the countryside with vast expanses of greenery and lots of lush grass.
When we reached there, it was drizzling. We were quite a determined bunch and decide to make our way towards the Woldingham Circular Walk. According to the route map available online, the entire distance is 5.5 miles or 9 km and takes around 3 hours. We started walking through the mud and drizzle finding our way through instinct and combined logic of the 8 of us. It was extremely slippery and to have mud and slush slide in through your sneakers and chill your toes is the worst feeling ever. We found a short cut which would take us to the supposed peak point but no, five out of seven refused to even consider the short climb and instead led the way around leaving the remaining, hopeful two with no choice but to trudge behind. But when we reached the peak, every bit of the chill, mud, slush was worth it. The fresh country air and our surroundings of green grass was such an exhilarating experience.
Since it was noon, we decided to get back home as suddenly all of us started getting the chills and hunger overtook us. Having got lost afterwards, we somehow managed to cut through and reach the tube station just in time to jump onto the train. Had we missed it, we would have had to wait another 30 minutes for the next one to come in. After a huge lunch at Victoria train station where we probably piled on more calories than we burnt off, we went home. It was a great experience and I hope to participate in many more hikes over the term.