The intrepid group set off from Bourton on the Water one grey day in February with rather grey skies and a 3 day trek ahead. We planned to do the majority of the route, leaving the final bit to Henley on Thames for another day.
Jock, the spaniel, was unaware what was in store and rushed around as if it was an hour’s walk when in fact due to the mud the first day took 8.5 hours!
Day 2 was really good starting from Charlbury we were soon walking through Stonesfield and down to the ford and ‘bathing pool’ which was lovely but not tempting for a swim! There was no mud to speak of and the day continued with dry weather and fast walking, taking us through the grounds of Blenheim Palace and other lovely places. There was a nasty moment when the hotel was found to be shut but a little exploration and we found a very friendly shop who made us sandwiches and looked after us for a short while. Day 2 took 2.5 hours less to do the same distance due to the conditions – a little rain as we arrived at Islip confirmed the decision to call it a day and not carry on to Noke until the morning.
Day 3 – the final stretch until the spring
The last day as a mixture and the feet were getting tired and in some cases blisters and pain were creeping in. We went through some lovely places – Noke a very pretty village and round Ottmoor which was a very long detour around a marsh. There was a fallow deer which had been adopted by some cattle – a rather unusual sight.
We trundled across golf courses, encountered more horses, visited Waterperry gardens where a nice lady saved the day by producing some pain killers and ended up tired but elated at the Swan at Tetsworth.
The crisis had been that I had forgotten my poles so I can now say from the heart that poles really do help!!!!