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10 Jun 2018 by Hazel

The UP – Breaking the 100 mile barrier

On Saturday June 9th, 2018 Linden I met outside my home just before 9am, we then drove to Didcot where parking is cheap and trains run often.  £3 for the day to park and £13 for return tickets to Reading. Once we had finished this section our mission to walk the Thames Path will have completed 103 of the 184 miles and be that much closer to completing this challenge. Walking back to where we left off our last stretch we then caught a boat to Henley.

Linden and I have both got demanding lives so it was good to be forced to saunter along the river at a more leisurely pace for a couple of hours. The added benefit was we got to see the amazing properties on the water’s edge. At least we understood why the path veered away from the river just as we left Henley. As you do so though you pass by a property owned by a Swiss banker, Urs Schwarzenbach, who has installed a railway line, complete with a replica of the station at St Moritz in the garden.

Once we had passed by these amazing properties, narrowly being bumped off by a rather flashy Ferrari and almost mesmerised by the aroma coming from an amazing creeping rose we picked up the path along the river bank. Before long we were in Sonning and desperately trying to get a glimpse of Mr and Mrs Clooney’s home – all we saw was the chimney – can you see it in the photo on the right below?

Given our pace it was only another hour and we would be on the train heading home. This section was shady, busy and full of fowls. Mostly geese and swans with their young. A few ducks every now and again. Once in Reading we were amazing once more at how the city had utilised the banks of the river with large recreation areas where people could play, picnic and chill. We could not help but wonder why Oxford had not made the same use of our River banks.

Back in Reading we headed for the 16:20 train to Didcot and before we knew it we were in the car heading home having walked 9 more miles of our challenge and crept over the 100 mile mark.

The Down – Sabotaging my diet

Sadly my sabotaging started on Friday as I purchased a Rye bread at M & S which was marked down. Before I knew it I had devoured 75% of the loaf making my very healthy, home made moussaka no so healthy. Then on Saturday, after we got back we had a BBQ and instead of sticking to one of my golden rules and having a small portion I pile my plate high and tucked in. Then I broke a 2nd rule and had seconds.  Finally I could not resist one of the fresh multi seed bread rolls and before I knew it I had inhaled it along with lashing of butter. The result was seen on the scales this morning. So all my great walking last week, a fab dance class and 9 miles of walking all undone in a few moments of weakness. So easily done, so difficult to undo. But here I go again.

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