06-Mar-2006 -- Another visit to Blighty and another chance to visit CP N052W000 (or N052E000 depending on your political persuasion) close to Stansted airport which we flew into. Unfortunately there was not time to visit after
landing so it would have to be before catching the plane back to Salzburg.
After a busy 3 days we left Fetcham, South of London, at midday giving us a whopping 6 hours before the fight was due to take off at 17:55. Journeying West around the M25 was thankfully uneventful, before heading East again and coming off at junction 25 on to the A10. Then driving North almost directly towards the CP 40 or so Km, before turning off at Buckland heading towards Barkway. We found the Public Bridleway used by other visitors (Coordinates N51.59'27.1" W0.0'19.9") and headed off for the last 1.1 Km.
Our only worry was the state of the trail - hoping it would not be as muddy as experienced by some previous visitors - because we were wearing 'city' shoes. We did have Sainsbury plastic bags with us though if things got really desperate.
Also rain was in the air (it had even snowed in various parts of the UK the days previously) which could turn a damp but manageable trail into a quagmire.
Basically following the Bridleway we made good and clean progress towards the CP, hearing gunshots in the distance. Eventually we came to a field (margin) with signs asking people not to enter. The CP was through the field but
it looked muddy and the gunshots were coming from that direction, so we stayed on the path that skirted the side of the field at the end of which we turned right along a path running through the trees leading almost directly to the CP. A short walk along the edge of a field, along some tractor tracks and we were at the CP.
We took the usual photos (this took longer than normal because the batteries in the GPS gave up and had to be changed - but I did have spares that worked - not like some people ;-) and after a few minutes decided to head back as it was spitting with rain.
Hearing more gunshots on the way back we wondered where they were coming from but could not spot anyone nor any hunting lookout towers (do they have those in the UK?). I was not concerned as I was wearing red but Andrea was wearing green and we speculated that they might fire a warning shot, overlook Andrea and hit her. Obviously didn't happen but it's disconcerting anyway.
We arrived at the car a few minutes later with my GPS showing an accuracy of 2m and loads of differential GPS satellites, better than the 5 metres I got at the CP. Maybe this was because of the battery change.
A short journey to Stansted in the rain (!!!), followed by a flight to Salzburg and the return of winter finished the day off.