Yumi Bagge, Petr Bauch, Peter Schrammel
**: Tour de Trigs training walk at night and terrible weather conditions
Bloxham, 118m - Crouch Hill, 169m - Broughton, 103m - Hobb Hill, 161m - Bloxham
3 1/2h (1 1/2 + 1 + 2/3 + 1/3)
0: mud and cows
In preparation for the Tour the Trigs, Yumi, Petr and me went to Bloxham to practice night-time navigation. We chose to walk via the marked footpath to Crouch Hill and then to Broughton and back. We started at 5pm when the sun was just going down. The meadows along Sor brook were still quite wet after the flooding of the previous weeks that has just receded. Finding the way out to Wykham Lane taught us the first lesson: fences and hedges are a problem because you have to find the right passage. By the time we were passing further cattle pasturages it had become pitch dark. We kept distance from he cows with their reflecting eyes. From Crouch Hill we saw the bright lights of Banbury. On the slippery way down from the hill. I prepared my poles. Suddenly, Petr and Yumi were gone. I followed the way to the point where I thought that we would definitely have to meet. And a few moments later I saw their lights approaching. Second lesson: always shout "stop" when halting and keep close together. We followed the path to B4035 when it started drizzling. To avoid having to walk on the B4035 we took a side road and then tried to navigate on a path through field. This turned out to be quite challenging as the mud started sticking on our shoes. We went around the field, but then had to cross Sor brook over a footbridge. The other side was not very inviting because the meadow was flooded. But there was a narrow strip leading back to the road. We could not see whether we would get through and hopes were fading as the ground started feeling marshy. But finally we managed and reached the road. We took a detour to the village church where a mass was in progress. The stained glass windows looked beautiful being lit from inside. The pub was very tempting to have burger and beer now. But we had to continue on a footpath leading across a meadow to Ell's lane. The ground was very wet and we had to search twice to find the right gate to cross fences. Since it was just after 7.30pm we decided take a detour over Hobb Hill. Climbing up the hill we were suddenly blocked by dense hedges and barbed wire. So, we had to walk down again and try on the other side. That worked and we reached the top of the hill. The 1:25000 map actually showed the right path through the fences, whereas the 1:50000 was completely useless because it does not show fences at all. Still we did not study the map well enough and took the wrong path down from the hill. This time we were blocked by a cattle pasturage with electrified fence. We finally found a corner where we could climb over the fence without touching the live wire. When we arrived at the car we started realising that it had been raining persistently all the time. Our jackets had done a great job, but our trousers were completely wet.