The Thames Path Days 2-3

Von Helen
Rushey Lock the 5th lock from the source

At the end of day 3 we have managed a total of 68 km. Do I feel proud? You can say that again!
so what happened after we set off in Ashton Keynes. We had glorious weather and the most beautiful tranquil scenery, meeting just 3 dog owners the whole day on the path. The scenery this morning was characterised by wide horizons and colourful meadows bursting with various butterflies and dragonflies Just before reaching the first town on the path, Cricklade, we met a few horses, one of which was very intent on not letting us pass through the gate. He stood his ground and didn“t move until he’d had a lot of patting. We stopped for lunch in a great pub called the Red Lion directly on the Thames and after building our strength back with a Chicken Curry and a Ploughmans we managed the days total km of 26 with more or less ease. There is something very compelling about following a river, it somehow keeps calling to you to carry on. So at the end of day 2 we reached the first town on the Thames, Lechlade. From this point on it’s possible to navigate a boat on the river and it was strangely surprising to see the first longboats moored at Lechlade, clearly showing how are small stream had grown into a young river.We stayed at the in a very nice room with a bath (having not had the use of a bath for a while, it was simply pure delight spending half an hour soaking in it). Then what better way to finish the day than relaxing by the river in the Riverside Pub, even if the ducks were a little too friendly.
Day 3 saw us setting off along the right bank with plenty of geese to guide us on our way. 45 minutes later it started to rain and I mean really rain So in the middle of nowhere with no shelter in sight we surrendered ourselves to the heavens and became totally soaked through. Then suddenly there was a tree to keep us dry but at the same time my husband discovered the Alpha male in himself and insisted on continuing. After a further 20 minutes we were priviliged to experince the feeling of squishy feet in sodden boots and to add insult to injury we spent another 2 hours wading through the waist high grass. It was truly an all round wet experience. But midday the sun came out and we were able to sit at a pretty lock and dry ourselves. What a wonderful feeling to warm and dry the body and how the morale which had been quite low up till then suddenly soared. Life was good again and we had a very pleasant experience helping a longboat to negotiate the lock. Lunch was at The Trout at Tadpole Bridge which is to be highly recommended. Dried by the sun and fed and watered we continued our walk through magnificent meadows with so many different types of flowers, grasses and dragonflies. And then we encountered the damsel fly and I could really understand how people believed in faries. We spent the night in true Beer, Bed and Breakfast style at the Rose Revived Inn at Newbridge. What a great view from the beer garden.