|I fall a sleep in my beer|
Mike, Dave and I have set out to walk, cycle or by boat get down to the Thames Barrier downstream of central London.
A cold March morning, sun breaking through the cloud. Across fields we tramp to locate a block of stone some five feet high and the signpost that marks the Thames Footpath.
Onward we go, across fields, a main road, and then into another water meadow and as if from nowhere there is water. We are about a mile into our 12-mile mission for the day. This will now take us along the bank of the stream, which soon becomes a credible river.
Past farms in honey coloured Cotswold stone, under tiny footbridges and along side meadows and trees and the occasional stand of electricity pylons that disappear into the distance.
|Past farms in honey coloured Cotswold stone and under tiny footbridges|
The river appears to disappear into a vast expanse of the Cotswold Water Park. A desolate collection of lakes and ponds that appear to serve some recreational purpose on days that is not as cold as today. The path is easy to follow but the Thames is somewhere else.
We arrive in Cricklade town at 17:35 and make our way to The Red Lion for the evening. The delight of removing our boots for the day - we are quite tired and my leg is playing up. Hot baths all round, the delicious beer, made on the premises and sausage and mash for supper.
A successful day; the pub is packed with people enjoying themselves as we are.
At 21:00 I fall a sleep in my beer and the lads suggest we all retire to bed. We agree on a time for breakfast before we head up to our rooms.