Late start today as we only had 19 k’s to do and their were shops to look at in Wallingford. Wallingford is , well it seems to us to be, a small town. Still has a lovely old shopping centre and only one supermarket. Lots of people going about their business and sitting in the town square. The town square had a lovely Victorian water fountain, with an admonitory note on it – engraved in the ironwork- ‘Do not splash water’, needless to say no water in it nowadays. Will see if my techno freak Terry can get the photo of it on to the site.
We met an Aussie couple at breakfast at The George- OK hotel, they are doing the whole path and have tramped a lot but had not made any bookings. The day before last they had walked from Newbridge to Abingdon, 38k’s because they could not get accommodation. Ouch! They had the breakfast thing weighed off, they carry a lidded bowl each and put their carefully selected cooked breakfast into the bowls for consumption later in the morning. Makes our bacon sammies look like small fry eh Joss!!!!
As usual we had a long bypass, think this one was caused by a private prep school with huge grounds. Lots of yummy mummys were seen arriving for a sports event . Mini Coopers- convertible and Range Rovers were the preferred mode of transport. Earlier in the day we had seen a couple of Smart Coupes, just like the Smart car but squashed!
Lovely day, we have been really lucky with the weather the last several days, only rained on day one and has been about 22c for the last 3 days after 30c two days in a row.
Much better underfoot today, no paddocks thank heavens- sorry fields! Had our first and probably only climb today, up into a beech forest just out of Pangborne. made us puff a bit. Loads of Canada geese on the river the last three days, asked a fisherman if they were a pest but he did not think so, not everyone agrees… He also showed me his container of bi coloured maggotts, they use them like we would use trout flies- ugh!
Quite a lot more people walking, well, about 6 couples and a few single women. The English tend to do 2-3 day stints as the spirit moves them. One couple had made it to Pangborne from the London Barrier, done over a few years. They were very laid back about it all.
One of the women told us we had at least three paddocks to cross before we hit Pangborne, we decided that was not for us and as soon as we hit a bus stop outside what we thought was the village before P, we asked the man waiting what time was the next bus to P, he said , quite surprised,’you are already in Pangborne’ ! Maybe the paddocks are tomorrow.
The houses on the river are getting more opulent with boat houses we would be pleased to live in. We also saw our first ‘do it your self ‘lock, Cleeve Lock, also had the newst, 1958, Lock Keepers House beside it. House looked empty, but the little lock keepers office had a current diary in it so someone must turn up now and again, saw an entry to remove a wasp nest..
We are now about to head off to the pub across the road for our daily calorie intake …doubled with the accompanying beer.
Here for two nights, which is pleasant as one night stands are a bit tiring.
We went under two Brunel rail bridges today, Terry drooled and even I had to admit the brickwork was good.