Wednesday

Day 14 and some 260K’s completed.

Our feet have survived but our calf muscles are pretty tight! The weight has increased but the weather is still FINE. A bit cooler, back to 20C but fine. However today a nasty wind blew up which made life a little less pleasant.

Terry is thrilled, he saw the first lot of golden rod in flower! Just casually growing wild by the side of the path.

We left Windsor about 9 am and headed back up the mainstreet, all those yummy shops bu tmost of them not open till 10 am .Nice Edwardian waterworks just out of town, now converted and used as a house.

Had some stunning views of the castle as we skirted the Royal park and then farm.  Her Maj has a lovely herd of jersey cows, but again bigger than our jerseys..

Staggered on to Runnymede, realised we should have caught one of the many tourist boats that ply the river here, one to save our feet, long day today, and two to go through a lock . Have been through some of the locks nearer London but would be a nice thing to do this time- maybe sneak onto a boat from Hampton Court tomorrow. The annual flower show is on at HC so may be a few more boats about.

Runnymede has a simple but lovely memorial on the supposed paddock that King John was made to sign the Magna Carta or lose his throne. He was a useless irk, lost lots of money and lots of battles.  A local noble lot gifted the paddock to the nation in the 1930,s but it was not until 1957 that the US(!) Bar Association erected the current memorial. There is a JFK memorial of equal simplicity nearby. The entrance to the area is dominated by two lovely Lutyen designed lodges, a memorial built in the 1930’s to the local noble who gifted the land- well his widow did.

There is also a super Lutyen designed memorial to George V just near the river in Windsor- First of the Windsor Monarchs is written on it. Two large bowls which tumble water down to a central pool. Landscaping around it was poor though, fountain is symetrical , plantings weren’t.

Nobody at either of the above memorials, so we ate our lunch just beside the Magna Carta memorial. Only people we saw on the site were  a dog walker and an Australian family!

We had a nasty, nasty diversion of about 4 k’s in Staines, under the M25 big, loud road.. wWe  lost all sense of direction as we wandered suburban streets. We wanted to see one of the Coal Posts, which ringed London in the 1830’s, coal merchants had to pay  a tax of coal at those points, not sure when it finished, luckily we encountered a transposed one. All this beacuse 400 m of the path are being repaired- why in mid summer! Only other good thing about it was a lovely rill which is part of the Millenium project for Staines.

We tottered on, wind blowing and making us grumpy, just like kids on a windy day. Had trouble working out where to go after the diversion 

Saw what the guide book said was the last meadow , at least we should not have any more paddock walking. Todays paths have been the usual mixed lot from wide paved footpaths to one foot width wide.

Two routes into Shepperton, one across the ferry which seemed to have disappeared and one hoofing it. We hoofed it and arrived hot and grumpy- again at Harrisons Hotel. A fairly boring place which miffed us as there were some really nice places down by the missing ferry. The area down by the ferry at old Shepperton is very pretty- looks like dog walker territory, large black ones were the most favoured choice today.

Had one of my usual battles, we were put in a tiny backroom with the usual vents,I threw a hissy and we were moved to a large room but right on the road. That actually sums up room choices, vent or road noise.We asked the receptionist if there was someone to carry our bags up to the first room, up 3 flights of stairs, she said there was only her on duty, I sniffed significantlyshe came out from behind her desk and carried the two heaviest bags up the million steps then back down again when she ‘found’ us the other room. Just to show us how light the bags were. Ha! The bumf on the hotel said assistance with bags available at all times!

We went to a nice newly refurbished pub next door for dinner, good meal too, only other pair in the dining room were Aussies- they are everywhere with thier strong dollar- just like us.

So todays walk was messy and not that pleasant topped off by a not too great but expensive (120 pound) place to doss.

Hope tomorrow is a better walking day as it is our last and thankfully no more hotels or ‘best’ B&B’s.