Saturday, April 21, 2018

Day 10 on the Thames Path - Chertsey to Staines

With the glorious weather we have been having in London I knew I had to get out on the Thames Path.  And what a walk it turned out to be!  

I am so lucky staying in SE London as I can connect to anywhere in southern England via Clapham Junction (Britain's busiest rail station) which is just three stops away on the train.  And believe me when I say my seniors rail card is the "bomb" - it is saving me so much money.  Why didn't I do this before? (slaps side of head...hard!)  

Anyway on the morning of Friday April 20th I was off to Chertsey.  The journey took me about 90 minutes in all.  The crazy part is that I passed through Staines which was my destination!  

I was the only one left in the train carriage!! 

As I was walking through the town centre I noticed a woman waiting for a bus - turns out the bus was due in ten minutes and it was going to Chertsey Bridge where my walk would begin.  Yay!  I remembered that long walk to the train station when I was finished last time and wasn't looking forward to it.  So we spent a pleasant ten minutes chatting before the bus pulled up and she kindly told me when to get off the bus just before the bridge.  Bonus as I could use the facilities at the Bridge hotel (the place I had my "finishing" drink at last time) and then walked over the bridge.  The sidewalk on both sides are so narrow that when trucks flew by I stopped walking and stood there cringing.  I was glad to reach the other side!  

Hello again my old friend!!!

Looking back at Chertsey Bridge with the Bridge Hotel on the other side - I thought it was wonderful of this swan to greet me!  A perfect start to the walk! 

Before I knew it I was at Chertsey Lock...there were two locks on this stretch of the Thames. 

Lots of canal boats and pleasure boats on this stretch.

About a km or so was along the side of a fairly busy road which was a bit annoyiing but at least there was a strip of grass to walk on. 

How sad...but what a lovely tribute.  This was on a bench along the path.  There were lots of benches and believe me I plunked my butt on quite a few of them.  Even though I didn't need the rest most of the time I thought it would be prudent to rest when I could.  My motto when on a walking path: never let a bench or a toilet go to waste!

I kept murmuring "it's so beautiful"... I have said that a lot on this trip. 

Okay I won't win any fashion awards but I don't give a crap - I was happy, happy, happy. 

Lucky people living so close to the Thames - lucky people having that kind of money!

Yes I did a double take too when I saw that Polar Bear sitting on their balcony. 

I thought this was a beautiful mirage but it was real and I marched right up and ordered myself a 99 Flake ice cream.   

It hit the spot.  This is Penton Hook Lock - the second and last lock of the walk.


We are getting near Staines now...

That's telling 'em!!!

Two necking swans - they were pulling at weeds or whatever in the water with their necks entwined.  How romantic I thought.  Then he proceeded to ahem...jump her and she went right under the water and we thought she was going to drown.  Charming! (not)

Such a beautiful area - I can't even begin to explain how much I loved this walk. (gush, gush)

Staines railway bridge...painted yellow on top to stop the swans from flying into it.

Sculpture of the Swan master on Staines' river front.  The Crown owns all the mute swans in Britain.  For five days in July the Swan Master and assistants row down the Thames and when they see a brood of cygnets they stop and count them as a way of doing a census of the swan population on the Thames. As I approach Windsor I will be seeing more and more.

Staines bridge..and the end of the walk...

I finally found my way to the Railway station which at least isn't as far as Chertsey's is.  Confession time:  I stopped at Marks and Spencers to grab a sandwich to shove down my gob.  I was hungry!

Now I can't wait until the next time I am back on the trail - it won't be long!!!  

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