We’d decided that we wanted to do at least one more section of the Thames Path before the end of the year and the weather turned so we provisionally booked a couple of dates in the diary. Then, a little closer to the time, we booked a hotel at the half way point that was refundable a week before the date which would allow us to check the weather and make a final decision on whether to go (we are fair weather walkers).
Unfortunatley, due to a diary mishap on my part, we missed the date by which we could cancel the booking but that was ok as the weather for the two days we had selected looked ok even if the day before and the day after looked awful. Of course, I’d forgotten that forecasters are useless at predicting the weather than a piece of seaweed. The day before we were due to go the weather was lovely and the bad weather had moved to the morning we were to be walking. Oh well, there’s no such thing as the wrong weather only the wrong clothes right? I’ve just looked that up and, apparently, that’s a Billy Connelly quote – I never knew that!
On the Day
We headed out from Reading in light rain but by the time we had reached our destination of Richmond it had all but stopped which was good news as 12 miles in the rain didn’t sound like much fun. Less good news was that the toilets on Richmond station were closed for refurbishment but we were directed to the cafe opposite. Even though they had agreed that rail users could use their facilities during the works I still felt I should be something and so left relieved but with a tea I didn’t want!
I’d like to say that that this was an engaging stretch of the river but that was not the case and was mostly unforgettable. Particularly the stretch through Surbiton which took us away from the river and through the back streets – not really what you want on a Thames Path walk!
We got within an hour of our destination, The Weir Hotel at Walton-on-Thames, when it started to drizzle turning to light rain. This gave us an opportunity to change into our waterproofs. In some ways I’m glad that it did rain as otherwise we’d have carried the waterproofs for nothing! My last word on the weather is this: AI can now apparently significantly outperform conventional weather forecasting methods in predicting global weather conditions up to 10 days in advance. That’s good news at least!
Never has a hotel seemed so welcome as by the time we reached it I needed a sit down as my back was hurting from carrying what was admittedly a very light rucksack. The place was, like me, a little tired but the room was clean and the staff were fantastic. Hope now for a good nights sleep to set us up ready for another stage tomorrow.
Distance: 12.65 miles
Cumulative: 48.12 miles
To go: 142.11 miles