June 13, 2009

Thames: Newbridge to Cricklade

We are on the home stretch - only 12 miles to go!

The Thames Path from Newbridge to Upper Inglesham has limited public transportation, so we decided to overnight at the Swan Hotel at Radcot. We took a very fast train from Paddington to Swindon (less than an hour) and a cab to the Swan. The Swan owner drove us to Newbridge the next morning (after a full-cooked breakfast) and we walked back to the Swan via lunch at the luxury Trout Inn at Tadpole Bridge. We ate dinner and slept 10 hours! The next mornng, the Swan owner drove us to Upper Inglesham and we walked back. Again we had an early dinner and slept 10 hours. We felt great walking. Perhaps we were getting enough sleep?

Kris enjoyed the Saxon (13th century) St John the Baptist church in Inglesham outside Lechlade. I liked the whimsical topiary.

This Father Thames statue was commissioned in 1854 and located at Crystal Palace and then Thames Head before being moved to St. John's Lock.

Walking from Farmoor to Newbridge centered around Oxford public transportation. At the Rose Revived Pub, we waited patiently and anxiously by the bus sign. The bus raced by us and we waved frantically - miraculously he stopped for us. He chided us saying we were supposed to be waiting in the parking lot of the pub across the river. That was our worst experience with public transportation.

Upper Inglesham to Cricklade involved a train to Swindon and a bus to Upper Inglesham. Catching a bus back to Swindon from Cricklade was easy. Finding our way from Upper Inglesham to Castle Eaton was a challenge.

The path veered away from the Thames across fields, and the signs were infrequent. And, we weren't the only ones lost. In Castle Eaton, we met the local "Path Monitor" who asked us about our experiences and promised to check out the situation. We thought Castle Eaton was especially picturesque and the people friendly.

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