Home to Amersham, and thence to Chesham, is well documented on Google maps.
Chesham to Hawridge is a different matter.
Follow Vale Road to its end and all you see is a derelict pub, the Rose and Crown, on your right, but no sign of Hawridge.
Vale Road morphs into Cholesbury Lane. The ground levels out, and a mist that started out thin becomes thicker and thicker. Another hour passes by without seeing another soul. You pass a sign that rather worryingly says "Edge of the World, 2 miles".
But, I have faith in Des. He wouldn't do that to us (would he?).
Just a little farther. And there, just before the EotW, is a shining light. The mist clears and we see Des at the side of the road, with a beaming smile. No doubt relief that someone has finally turned up.
The weather (for the records) is just grand.
Hashers huddle in protective circles, looking out for latecomers, the hashers-come-lately.
Some locals pass by, knuckles ont' ground.
Ten to eight and it is decided that Des shall have the floor and explain his method.
Surprisingly, there are 27 present, including two virgin hashers who were not deterred by the EotW. Hash greetings to virgins Mary and child (Pacha from Prestwood).
Des was kind and led us down Rays Hill. Then kind again by letting us meander along the valley, rather than tackle the inevitable immediately. Accountants believe in balance (when they are not cooking things) and the hash had extended its credit too far. Pay back time took us up the side of the valley to "The Works".
We did not tarry, as it looked like a set from "Utopia" and there were signs of resident zombies. Purse strings were loosened and we were allowed the extravagance of a downhill jolly. Tut-tut. Too much of the good times was being had by all, so in penance we trudged up hill again to Hawridge Church.
With a name like Hawridge, one could reasonably assume a fold in the terrain. This became apparent as we overshot the flat bit and gambolled down hill onto Hawridge Common. Some sensitive Hashers looked around and went tut-tut (again), it being a little too common.
The same sensitive hashers then expressed outrageous delight at the next junction, as they were given the option of going short. The insensitive hashers went right, and long.
Almost immediately we arrived at Tring Grange Farm. To our left, down an elegant driveway, a magnificent Georgian building. In front of us, a table laden with chilled lemon fresh water and cups. For us, Des exclaimed. Provided by some kind folks who wouldn't be there when we passed, but their teenage daughter would be, and she would sort it. Comments ranged from "home alone" to "I wonder what school she goes to. Can I send my children there?"
(Matt's children carried on fighting each other all the while, trying to establish supremacy. Evolution at its rawest.)
Suitably refreshed, we carried on (away from the pub) with renewed vigour.
Nothing could stop us. Chiltern farm was a blur. Roundhill Wood was rounded. Ambers Farm was red, due to the doppler shift. Purple Heath Farm was purple (we were getting tired by then) and Cholesbury Bottom was pert.
And there we were. Back home, safe in the beer garden.
We were regaled by some very witty anecdotes from the GM. Then the chips arrived and we lost interest.
Thank you Des. I know it only happens but once a year, but like simple interest it is eagerly awaited. (and you were spot on. 5.2 miles)