Day 12 – Oxford to Newbridge

Day 12 of the #185milewaffle – Oxford to Newbridge accompanied by Henry the Labradoodle.

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Monsoon level rain in the morning made me feel my luck had run out. Thankfully it hadn’t – the storm blew through and by 10:30 the rain had stopped and the clouds were clearing.

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Henry a keen swimmer!

Tim Fenna and I have been acquainted over about 10 years without having a chance to spend much time together, but always enjoying each other’s company. I think we recognise each other as fellow enthusiasts!

Above and beyond the call of therefore, for him to convey us to the jumping off point and meet us at the end of the stage. Thanks also to his other half Sally, who had never met me, but was both lovely and equally supportive.

Henry is one of those dogs whose eyes speak volumes, peering out from under big eyebrows and apparently lugubrious… in practice anything but. Big hearted, boundless energy and enormous fun. We enjoyed a great day walking together – his enjoyment extending beyond mine into frequent swims and numerous rolls in doubtless unspeakable substances.

We went awry in one of the few places where the Thames Path signage is truly lacking, resulting in a frustratingly wasted 45 minutes, struggling backwards and forwards through fields bounded by fences that permitted no crossing.


Henry the Labradoodle

Eventually we emerged at the Ferryman at Bablockhythe – which always has and always does feel like something out of a strange film set – to discover that food was not an option. The sense of surreality compounded by an air ambulance circling then landing at the nearby caravan park.

The weather was kind, but unfortunately a large number of the fields were filled with sheep and cows… which necessitated Henry being on the lead, and both our enjoyment being slightly compromised.

The total lack of phone signal meant I wondered if I would ever link up with Tim & Sally. Happily a brief window allowed us to fix a rendezvous at the Maybush Inn, Newbridge.

We all enjoyed a sundowner, and I wished Henry (and Tim & Sally natch..) a heartfelt farewell. Then I headed off into the sunset to stay with my next supportive friend in Cirencester.

12 down – 3 to go.

Upwards and onwards



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