14 Aug 2017 by Hazel
Of all the walks I have done this had to be the most challenging. Originally it was to be me, Jess (my daughter) and our friends Bernie and Linden, however, Jess could not make it that day so Bernie, Linden and I set off in two cars towards Kemble which is the closest town to the location of the source. The first challenge was that my sat nav took us in the most convaluted way possible and we ended up on the road for far longer than we had anticipated. We had hoped to start early as rain was forecast and we really wanted to get ahead of it. Sadly, this was not to be.
Dropping my car as close to the source as we could get we then drove back to Castle Eaton arriving around 10am. We quickly got ourselves sorted and started to walk. I think we managed to get Cricklade without getting completely soaked. Here we found a pub, grabbed a drink and visited the loo we then continued towards our lunch destination, Ashton Keynes. It was during this part of the walk the rain started to arrive and one minute I had my rain jacket on and the next I had to strip off because I was too hot. The Thames was still with us as we watched the heavens turn a rather menacing shade of gun metal grey.
As we approached Ashton Keynes it was getting decidedly darker. We needed to find the pub and fast. Thankfully we stumbled across a young lady who was heading that way and got directions – no we did not get in her car. As we got to the pub and found a seat the heavens opened. Lunch was dreadful. They were having a BBQ and were serving those awful cheap white roles with even cheaper hamburgers. The chicken alternative was dry and unpalatable. Thankfully by the time we were done with our lunch the rain has eased off and we started to head towards Kemble.
Lunch was repeating on me and the Thames was drying up. I was also tired and we were only half way. I really, really needed a wholesome and energy giving lunch and not what was on offer at the pub. Needless to say we persevered. Bernie and Linden were in fine fettle and striding out ahead of me. All I could think off was getting off my feet and getting home to bed, however, our joint offspring were meeting us at Sojo’s for dinner so that dream had to be put on ice. As we closed in on the source we crossed the road where my car was parked. I so wanted to go dump my backpack but the girls encouraged me to continue. I did so rather grumpily but eventually made it to where the post was stuck in the ground that denoted the source.
Now all we had to was finish walking the other way from Abingdon to London and we would have cracked this challenge. For now though we got in the car, heading back to fetch B & L’s car at Castle Eaton and meet our family for dinner. When the food arrived I was so grateful we had organised this meal. Between us I think we hoovered half the menu. It was a lovely way to end the day.
Little did I know Bernie had a little surprise for me. She had filmed me walking and boy did it make sense why my hip ceased up by the time I got in my car. Thankfully her skilled hands are now working with my body to see if we can improve the way I walk.