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The Second Walk

Monday, February 04, 2013

On Sunday, Chicchantal and I met at Paddington Station for our second walk of the weekend. After some initial confusion, since I had got it into my head that we were going to Maidstone, when we were going to Maidenhead, and Chicchantal was thinking of a completely different walk anyway, I had brought my walking pole since she’d said we’d be ridge-walking, and actually it was completely flat, we took the train to Maidenhead, then on to Cookham.

I was already taking aspirins, since the back and knees that had been aching when we finished walking Saturday afternoon, were not much better Sunday morning, but apart from twinges in her back, Chicchantal felt fine.

Cookham is one of those English villages that apart from the traffic and parked cars, could justifiably be called ‘quaint’, with some genuinely old buildings,but most of us aren’t rich enough to live anywhere like that.

We walked over a little stream, where a hungry heron was looking for lunch.

There was an attractive Norman (circa 1100 AD) church, unfortunately shrouded in scaffolding from every view but this one!

We went round to the right and over a hump backed bridge, where the path did the irritating thing that many English village paths do, and swopped from one side of the road to the other halfway across the bridge, so you either walk on in the mud at the side of the road, (now there’s a novelty) or dodge the oncoming traffic. When we came to a stile, the way we needed to go was clearly defined!

Far from ridge walking, we were going to cross the floodplain of Old Father Thames. Our intrepid heroines stepped into the water, and waded on. It was getting deeper, over the lace holes of our boots, and with a skin of ice on the top, and we both discovered that our boots weren’t quite as waterproof as we had thought! Having reassessed the situation, and discretion being the better part of valour, we did the unthinkable and turned back!

Consulting the map again, Chicchantal found another path that would lead back to the Thames, and along the towpath into Maidenhead, so we set off. It was a much better path than the one we had left, and when, finally, we reached the river we stopped where we found a bench and had our sandwiches. The sign didn’t look very promising.

Then a jogger and a couple of walkers came through the other way, so we thought, rightly as it happened, that it couldn’t be too bad. By this time I was feeling pretty tired, Chicchantal is obviously a good bit fitter than me still, and she forged on ahead. I had the excuse of course of taking the pictures!

Signs of spring are slowly appearing. One warm day and these alder tree catkins will be open.

We also caught sight of a couple of red kites, birds which had been extinct in Britain until the 1980’s, but are a relatively common sight now in the Chilterns. Not the best picture ever but you can get the idea.

We both smiled at a group of furry bunnies, that suddenly stood up and took flight! Revealing themselves as Canada Geese!!

Just before Maidenhead, we found a very nice caff, and warmed our hands round some hot beverages. We also partook in some very tasty seemed rude not to. The lad who served me, took one look at my suffering face, and found me the largest slice of cake in the establishment! Scrummy!

The last half mile is always the worst, and it seemed to take for ever to walk through the town and find the railway station. It was well hidden, but we made it two minutes before the train, conveniently running late, arrived. We had covered just under eight miles, and boy, did I know it.

Funnily enough, the following morning I was fine!


Member Comments About This Blog Post:
INFLATED 2/11/2013 5:42PM

    I really enjoyed this. I have never been out of the United States and I liked seeing what is there. Thank you for reading my blog, A RETIREE'S LAST TRIP TO WAL-MART.

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FALLNTENN 2/8/2013 6:51PM

    It is great that you and Chicchantal have teamed up for some walks. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and photos from these adventures. I enjoy them so much.

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SHELLYBABE2 2/7/2013 2:09PM

    TFS your adventure - the pics are gorgeous!

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LJCANNON 2/4/2013 11:07PM

    emoticon Fantastic Walk!! It is so much more FUN when you have a Friend to walk With You!! Thank you for sharing your walks with us!!

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CATLADY52 2/4/2013 7:21PM

    You can taqke as many pictures as your camera can hold. We can enjoy your walks that much more. emoticon

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PINKANGEL73 2/4/2013 7:20PM

    It is so nice that you are sharing walks with Chicchantal and then both of you share them with us. I'm so impressed with your stamina! I have to agree with the big control knickers comment. They really do help support your back by taking a bit of weight off the front! (Also speaking from experience).

Did you go ahead with the "operation" ? Looking forward to your next blog on that. Have been doing the havening off and on and have noticed a difference. Need to do it more I think.

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AKELAZ 2/4/2013 4:50PM

    I love Cookham and spent a lot of time there when I was young because my Mother had a friend there. These are such evocative pictures. Sounds like you had a great time. Your walks are wonderful - continue to enjoy them and thanks so much for sharing.

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CHICCHANTAL 2/4/2013 2:23PM

    so are you free next weekend?

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RAINBOWCHOC 2/4/2013 2:03PM

    glad you had a good day, hope you are recovering well today.

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DR1939 2/4/2013 1:34PM

    Love the pics and the narratives. A couple of hints. Knee braces can help a lot with knee pain. They're not too spendy and are available at Walmart-type stores for 7-8 USD. If you have a protruding stomach that is probably what is making your back ache. Wearing a lightweight girdle during the walk can help that. Eventually you will not need it as the muscles get stronger and there is less fat to lug around (speaking from experience). Finally you and Chi seem to be walking in boggy places a lot. You might consider purchasing gaiters. They are waterproofs that fit over the top of your boots and the bottom of your pants. They come in all lengths but the short ones should work best. They're not too expensive and are very light to carry in your daypack or even a pocket. Just search for gaiters and make sure they're waterproof not leather. The leather are for snakebite protection.

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CHIASMA 2/4/2013 1:30PM

    I love reading these adventures. I might have to join you two sometime if that's ok.

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MILLISMA 2/4/2013 11:23AM

    Love the fact that the two of you are walking together. What a great adventure and such wonderful photos. Thanks for sharing you walk with us.

emoticon emoticon

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MARIANNE9855 2/4/2013 10:03AM

    you are inspiring me to take back up hiking- I need to get in a little better shape first but I am getting excited. love the pictures and stories.

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DOVESEYES 2/4/2013 8:38AM

    Wonderful day, great company, and cake mmm...

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DAWN14163 2/4/2013 7:14AM

    Wonderful walking! Glad you managed to get out and dodge the showers.

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COCK-ROBIN 2/4/2013 7:01AM


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    Thanks for bringing me along on your trek!!
The pictures and narrative are a joy to behold.

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PLUMERIA50 2/4/2013 6:41AM

  Thanks for sharing! Love the pics and the writing! I hope the creaky joints are not barking too much!

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