Now I've decided to walk the Thames Path, to be shortened to "TP" from now, I've also decided to keep a blog log of the walk. Just a bit late uploading legs one and two as these are now complete.
So back to leg one, the second walk of 2012, this started at a bus stop in Cricklade, the target destination of the days 24km walk. Here, a bus to Swindon and a quick hop to the rail station and train to Kemble delivered me 2 miles short of the source of the Thames. Having left the station on the wrong side, not a good start, I corrected the error, crossed the tracks, via bridge and set off, only to be confused 100m later by the car park access road.
First sight of water
First sight of the Thames was quite a well established flow, just a km away from the source. The walk back to the source crossing the Fosse Way, saw the water dry up, with the source identified by the finger post and commemorative stone with illegible script, with no water in sight.
The days walk saw the river gain size rapidly with it routing thro the various lakes of the Cotswold Water Park. Alarmingly, walking of the path was identified as risky due to quick sand (fenced and wet)
Get the message
Two miles from the destination at Cricklade, following a sharp bend, I appreciated what a flood plain looked like, as the field ahead was immersed in water, spilt over from the banks. Rounding Lake Thames, was not an option. As the end was in sight with a pair of shoes stowed in the car boot, I opted for ploughing straight thro the water, knee deep with boots on. This scene was repeated in the next field, only this time I had the option to walk around. In doing so, I completely missed the path exiting the field and soon found myself off course. The necessary correction was needed, however this delivered me into Cricklade the incorrect way. This would have to be corrected on Day 2.