Day 1 – The War of the Worlds

One of the advantages of starting a pilgrimage from home is that I’m not short of good company for the first hour or two. Mandy, her sister Suzi, Robert & Kwan (sorry for any spelling mistake) joined me for a Thames Path taster and we set off through Weybridge towards the Thames. We have two rivers in Weybridge. The Wey heads south towards Compostela and Rome but this time I’m heading up the Thames.

Weybridge has a bit of history. It has the first motor racing circuit built in 1906 at Brooklands and had a big aircraft industry until 1990. Concorde was developed here and we have one of them down at the museum. Also, John Lennon lived here in the 1960s so you can only imagine the likes of his houseguests doing their shopping in the High Street. Bob Dylan etc.

We soon reached the river where there is a ferry service over to Shepperton, home of the famous film studio (Alien to name one). I rang the bell to call the ferry and while we waited I recalled the desperate battle which took place in the 19th century along this stretch of the Thames. The book even mentions the ferry. It’s a topical book because the invaders were finally defeated, not by the gallant English but by a common virus. H G Wells lived nearby.

We continued along the Thames to Chertsey Bridge where my companions bid me goodbye and then I was alone.

Staines came next. I don’t know anything about Staines. I stopped for a coffee and muffin. Our Government is currently paying half the cost of eating out on Monday to Wednesday to encourage people to return to normal. Never was a Government policy more popular or successful.

After Staines, I walked through Runnymede where King John signed the Magna Carta on 15 June 1215. The temperature was by now a sizzling 34 degrees and the Magna Carta Cafe was closed. I was out of water and about to resort to drinking from the river when I spotted a Harvester. It’s a family style pub and I gratefully entered, surrendered my telephone number to assist future track and tracers and then enjoyed preCovid levels of hospitality. Once again, the Government paid up.

I can spot a Camino pilgrim at 2 metres. It was lovely to see Mafe coming towards me. She is walking the Thames Path and told me that I was the first person she’d met in 7 days.

My energy levels were rather low when I finally spotted Windsor Castle. I nearly missed it because there were a lot of girls in bikinis swimming in the river and generally sunbathing on the shore.

Fortunately, my hotel is near the Castle and I just had time to take a shower before meeting my mates who travelled here for dinner; the Government picked up half the bill, of course.

The ferry to Shepperton

Chertsey Bridge

Oh, a Buddhist temple

Windsor Castle

This evening in Windsor

17 comments on “Day 1 – The War of the Worlds

  1. Yes Stuart. That is where he signed it

  2. David Ghiorso

    Tim, It is great to seen you head out on another pilgrimage. Mine is delayed but interested in the one you are taking and looking forward to your posts.

    • Hi David, always great to hear from you. I hope you get started on your pilgrimage soon. Tim

  3. Great to read the detail of day 1. Good to see you all enjoying a bottle of Adnams Southwold bitter. Look forward to your next blog

    • Hi Lucy your Adnams beer was very popular but I was drinking Asahi. This hot weather is good for beer sales. Tim

  4. Maggie Innes

    wishing you
    good walking

  5. Tassie Kaz

    Lovely to see smiling ‘trail you’ photos Tim.
    I can’t imagine starting a walk which doesn’t involve a lonnggg flight prior to taking a single step.
    I’m trying to focus on the details you’re describing but I can’t get past one…the Govt is paying half of it’s good citizens dining out bills?! 😯 Is there an election coming up…? 😄
    I was so happy to read how Shikoku & the 88 Temples has ultimately rested with you. It was such an extraordinary experience for me, I hoped for the same for you but for a while there, I wasn’t sure where it would end up ‘sitting’ with you. And yes, it is the only walk I’ve ever done that I would do again…in a heartbeat!
    Happy trails.

    • Hi Karen, no election coming up. The Government is encouraging supposedly reluctant diners to eat out. 50% off the food bill up to £10 discount and it’s ok to get dessert in another restaurant if you can find a seat. Tim

  6. David Jury

    Interesting read as always. Well done on your first day Tim !

    • All well so far David. It’s an easy first few days along the river. It will get harder. Tim

  7. Well done Tim, especially with the temperature soaring! You must have been melting.

    • Hi Jenny. At least in England a heatwave doesn’t last for more than a few days. It will soon be cold and wet Tim

  8. Glad to see you back on the trail and already enjoying your journal and fabulous photos.

    • Wonderful to hear from you again, Cheezywoman. Do you like Wensleydale cheese? I will be passing the creamery on the Pennine Way in a few weeks. Stay tuned! There was no cheese in Shikoku so I guess you skipped that blog😀

  9. Great to see the Adnams going down well Tim

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