The Ninth Stage of the Thames Walk

According to Salters book we have now walked about 120 miles of the River Thames. Leaving us with 64 miles left to go.

Stage 9 of the River Thames walk is a short 8.7 miles. In comparison, to some of the earlier stages - it is a hop, a skip and a jump of a walk from start to end. In fact, the support car had to cover more miles to reach the meeting points and twice the walkers had reached the meeting first. We suspect that with the really good wide paths along this stretch - that the group might have been jogging in places. I slowed them down the first half mile, on my crutches, as we walked along the route that took to a road. Thanks to the support drive I didn’t have to walk back, once the route met the meadow. I have to admit to some mixed feelings of jealously and frustration as I watched them go off. I really want to join them.

The weather watchers found us a dry spell. However, it was a cool 10 degrees although it looks sunny in some of the photographs and it was necessary to take the fleeces again.

The most notable events on this walk - were the red kites. We had lots of encounters. The first, as we waited for one family at the station. A red kite flew down and grabbed a mouse and was up and off before we could take a picture. It was so close we just stood there mouths open!

As the group walked from Henley along the meadow section of the walk, there were lots of red kites flying overhead. Later, we came across a number of kites being watched by a wild life photographer, who kindly let us join him as long as we kept quiet. We tried really hard to take photographs but the birds were flying up and around so fast none of us got a great shot. I have marked up the best of the shots which captured 4 birds, one flying high, two sitting on the tree and one swooping low. That is the best you are going to get, I am afraid, but we had a lovely time listening to them calling and watching them flying around.

The last bird I photographed was a swan on the bridge. It is a motif that appears along the Thames a lot! So, we are going to play “spot the swan” on our next few walks.

We are all looking forward to our next walk - as it ends with the view of Windsor Castle. We will be back on home ground. Then we will be catching a boat down to Shepperton.

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