A shorter walk today at only eight miles and with no train journey to get to the start we were able to step right out of the front door of our hotel onto the towpath having fortified ourselves with a full-cooked breakfast first!
A Schoolboy Error
To begin with, everything was fine. It was a beautiful day for a walk and there was hardly anybody about. Then we reached Weybridge where we were supposed to get the ferry across to the other bank but it wasn’t running due to the water levels. There followed much head-scratching and consulting of Google Maps. We should have brought the Thames Path book with us or at least consulted it before coming but we had forgotten to so we had to make it up as we went along.
In the end we plotted a route that took us away from the Thames as to follow the towpath you needed to be on the North bank. This meant a trudge through the outskirts of Weybridge along the busy A317 and up a hill – not somethng you expect when you set out for a flat walk along the river bank! We didn’t see water let alone the Thames for over two miles.
There was some light relief when we passed a school that had a building called the “skills centre” which led me to think that you weren’t going to pick up any skills in the other places in the school. Next to the “skills centre”, also on the school site, was the “wooden spoon cafe” presumably named as a warning to those that failed in the “skills centre” that this is where they would end up working.
Eventually, we reached Chertsey Bridge and finally we had rejoined the river. We crossed to the North bank for the first time – it was very odd to be walking with the river to our left. It was a couple of miles along the bank to Staines where we caught the train back to Reading.
We might yet squeeze one more leg of the journey in before the end of the year, weather permitting.
What to Take
Forgetting the travel book made me think that I ought to keep a list of things that we should be taking with us, so here it is:
- Water bottle
- Sunglasses (even in November the sun can be bright it turns out!)
- Reusable cup
- Guide book – *see note below
- Phone battery pack
*To be honest I don’t want to be carrying a bulky book along with me and would have much preferred to have an ebook on my phone. However, the publishers don’t offer such a thing and I think that they are missing a trick. I did email them to ask whether they had plans for such a thing but they didn’t deign to respond.
Distance: 9.55 miles
Cumulative: 57.67 miles
To go: 132.56 miles