The Thames Path – Osney bridge to Newbridge (section 11)

It’s been a difficult start of the day as I realised my top backpack pocket was open on the bus. My key was hanging out (luckily it’s strapped in with a hook) and my wallet was missing! I’d not slept well and with accumulated fatigue for days, it was starting to have an impact. I was very annoyed and getting upset. I stopped at the next possible stop and ran back to my bus stop. The wallet wasn’t there. And walked back home where I found it.
What a panic.
At that point I know I’d missed my train and I wouldn’t start on time (by 07:15) so I had to re-plan.

I headed for the next possible bus and train. And rescheduled my day, then making it very difficult to plan a lunch break. It also meant later finish and likely missing dinner time (it’s Valentine’s Day!).

Leaving Oxford, I could see allotments the other side of the Thames. It was paved yesterday until Osney bridge but this side of the bridge it is a track. There were clear skies apart from some clouds. It was quite cool to start with.

After a while I could feel the sun behind me streaming light and tiny bit of heat through the trees. It was a much nicer day to walk than yesterday with lovely colours, warm light and nice shadows, as well as lovely bird songs.

Just by Fiddler’s Island, I saw a woman in a bikini who was going for a swim without a wetsuit – that was very brave. It was only six degrees and a little bit windy out there.

The path was clearly signed which is lovely.

I then saw more people who were swimming!

Just before that I was playing puddles-slalom as there were a lot of puddles from yesterday’s rain mainly I guess. I saw quite a lot of people going past, walking and on their bikes probably going to work in school.

It was just really nice to see some geese landing in sync on the Thames, making a lot of noise and splashing.

I went past Godstow abbey, before crossing under the A34.

After I crossed under the A34 the Thameside felt much quieter.

The paths became very muddy again after some time, quite slippery. Then it’s started raining.

I had to walk through flowing water as I couldn’t balance on muddy piece of wood alongside the Thames and couldn’t risk falling. So I went through the water as safely as I could, and then just after that I crossed another muddy of water, more standing water to that time so that part is almost not passable now.

I spent a few minutes getting my rainproof trousers on, gloves and hat under the Swindord bridge.

At exactly 11am, after crossing the under the footbridge, the heavens opened.

Diversions from the side of the Thames are never very pleasant when they go past roads. And this one was no different but the good thing about it is I was behind the trees away from the wind and rain for a few minutes.

The river coming off the Thames looked like a chemical pollution as I cross pink Hill lock. The rain had mostly stopped.

The rain stopped. When I approached Bablock Hythe, I walked through muddy fields and a group of people on horses went past.

I had lunch at the Ferryman Inn in Bablock Hythe. After that my pace really slowed down.

My feet were very tired but I made it to the Rose Revived, in Newbridge, waited a couple of hours for my bus(es) home to get there in time for Valentine’s dinner.
15.78 miles (25.40 km) in just under 7h30.

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