Day 15 – Cricklade to The Source

Day 15 of the #185milewaffle – Cricklade to The Source accompanied by Monty.

If you’d like to make a donation to Mast Cell Action, you can find out how here.

A certain sense of relief as I embark on my usual two hour prep before departure: up, shower and breakfast; check out the weather and consequential dress; sort backpack and footwear accordingly; organise logistics of dog, rendezvous and transport to, from and between each end of the stage; deal with critical emails, blog etc; see how donations are going and head off from my Abingdon base to the next stage.

Good old Tom, who joined me for two days earlier in the walk turned out again to accompany me onimg_1254 the final leg. We met at the Thames Head pub and drove to the starting point at Cricklade. Another supportive star of the event has been Adrian, who met us there with Monty the Golden Retriever. Pleasingly, the latter appeared pleased to see me and was raring to go on his second stage

The last day was a real contrast to the rather grim 14th stint – Tom’s company, clement weather and a feasible lunch break in a pub all made for an easier 14 mile final stretch.

Monty was again the perfect companion, enjoying himself with frequent forays into both undergrowth and river, but always on hand when required.

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The Thames rapidly went from stream to trickle to dry bed. A scenic compensation however was the turning colours of the trees. Very late this autumn because of the Indian summer, but now coming on following the first frost. As yesterday, we absolutely had to have our wits about us to ensure that we followed a trail that both wandered quite a way from the river, and had very few signs; even so, we ended up doing a mile or two extra having missed our way at some point.

Yet again – one of the absolute blessings of this trip – we enjoyed wonderful weather.  As we descended the final fields to our destination, Tom commented that the lighting was positively

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Finally here – the source of the Thames!

biblical. Indeed, the setting sun shining down onto the Thames Head stone was straight from an epic film’s lighting dept.

Notwithstanding going base over apex having missed my footing (oh the irony, were I to have twisted an ankle 200 yards from home) we arrived at the source on schedule at 5:15 on the 15th day. The requisite final shoot then took place – to be seen on our Facebook page in due course – and repaired to the Thames Head (pub this time!) to meet Adrian & Hettie and return Monty.

Reflections on the whole walk would make this blog overlong. I will see if I can prevail upon the long-suffering Karina to install one final summary blog on the charity website.

Meanwhile I will sign off in the traditional way (words Jennie used to use many years ago), but this time referring to the charity and all suffering from MCAS, rather than simply the walk…

Onwards and Upwards – and thanks both for reading this and all the support I have received.

Chris

 

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