Day 13 of the #185milewaffle – Newbridge to Lechlade accompanied by Monty.
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Adrian and the charming Hetty have not only invited me to stay the night with them, but also volunteered to drop me off and pick up Monty at the end of the day. I am very much in their debt.
We rendezvous with Martin and Suzanne, who have driven up from London to accompany me on the day’s walk from the Rose Revived at Newbridge – thank you both – and off we set.
There have been all sorts of challenges with this whole endeavour, but equally I have been fantastically blessed with glorious weather. Apart from one 30 minute spell today, and a couple of hours on one earlier day, it has been bright, sunny and blue: perfect walking weather that has helped me through the lack of preparation and physical demands.
We head westwards at a steady pace, arriving at The Trout at Tadpole Bridge for a coffee and loo stop. There, somewhat to our chagrin, we discover from a local that our projected lunch stop – The Swan at Radcot – is apparently on its way out of business and food is unlikely to be forthcoming. Tant pis (or as they say, my aunt is cross about that… one for French speakers) – all we can do is press on.
Martin is rather braver than I with notional shortcuts across some of the river’s bigger bends. Having found myself on the wrong side of multiple stock fences when leaving the path earlier, I’m less enthusiastic. We half-heartedly try a few, maybe save a minute or two, but certainly have to negotiate some distinctly tricky barbed wire.
Monty was a brilliant companion, full of energy but equally keen to be part of the group. We calculate he was in the river nearer 20 times than 10, but always came back and was very much shoulder to shoulder on the walk.
One way or the other we do make it to Radcot (where the pub is indeed shut) in time to rendezvous with the BBC South reporter who duly films us, getting several shots to his satisfaction, and one less so… when he crouches down at ground level to get an arty Scorcese type upward shot, which arouses Monty’s serious interest and he receives a wet nose in his face and the camera lens. I guess everyone has to suffer for their art.
Onwards to Kelmscot where Adrian and Hetty, bless them, have come right to our destination to meet us and recover their dog. A very sociable couple of pints ensue. Monty passes out under the pub bench and Martin opines that he would like to do the same, before we part and go our separate ways.
Another very rewarding day.
Upwards and onwards
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