The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Sunday 28 March 2010

Day 7 - Kew Bridge to Uxbridge

28 March
Distance: 13 miles

After a good evening with Baz and Penny (with the happiness of a home-cooked veggie feast - big thanks go to both for their kind hospitality), we did slighlty bemoan the theft of an hour as we arose from our comfy bed this morning, thanks for the start of British Summer Time.

It was as a party of 3 that we set out from Kew Bridge a while later. Karen, who had heretofore been a complete stranger, but who had been following the blog, was kind enough to travel down to Kew at an early hour of morning to accompany us through to Uxbridge.

Once we had cleared Brentford High St, which was pretty quiet early on this first Sunday of BST, we joined the Grand Union Canal where a signpost told us that it was 139 miles along the Grand Union Canal Path to Birmingham. After the pedestrian signposts through London which told us distances to locations within a handful of miles, it was a novelty to see such a large distance reported. More of interest to us, however, were the mileposts which are counting us down to Braunston, where we are due to arrive on Thursday. The first milestone we spotted told us that it was 87 miles hence.

As for the route, it was perfectly pleasant in the main, with little hints of the nature of the suburbs past which we were walking.

There was life on the canal too, with barges, houseboats which looked like portacabins on rafts, ducks and, most notably, huge groups of swans.

With navigation a non-issue, fast time was made, the map only coming out to check our progress (making sure we spotted the right bridge to leave the canal; we didn't want to overshoot our destination).

Reaching the edge of Uxbridge significantly earlier than expected, a tea-room called our name, where we refuelled for the final mile and a bit to the centre of town.

After a string of lengthy days, it was nice indeed to have a shorter one and an early finish today. It was also a joy to have good company again. Thanks go to Karen for both the company and for lunch - all very much appreciated.

It's back to bigger mileages again tomorrow, kicking off with a 22 miler.
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  1. Well done - pleased to see you are on schedule and (unusually) are getting better weather than we are!

  2. It was really fantastic to meet you yesterday. Thanks very much - it was a really lovely day! And thanks for all your advice on backpacks and maps and so on. You've given me the confidence to realise that I really am capable of walking longer distances, and the early start (well, early by my standards) really made a big difference.

    My legs started aching about an hour after I got home and were aching all evening, but when I woke up this morning they were absolutely fine again! I'd definitely have the energy to join you again today if I didn't have to go to work.

    Best of luck with the rest of your journey.