Breakfast options were limited this morning in Windsor. Nothing was open at 7am except McDonalds so I went inside. The manager didn’t wish me a nice day. “Put a face mask on”, she screamed even though it doesn’t apply when you eat in. I raised my buff into a reasonable position, ordered Egg McMuffin and coffee and paid £1.49 as did the Government. She delivered the breakfast to my table and repeated the face mask order with added venom. I tried unsuccessfully to juggle the muffin, the coffee and the face mask in the empty restaurant.
A girl walked in without a mask and I watched a repeat performance except the girl howled back “Exempt!” and that was the end of the matter.
The Thames is peaceful and rural upstream of Windsor. The path crosses meadows and patches of woodland and bypasses Maidenhead which is a shame because it’s a nice town and I was hoping to take a few photos. It was the first stopping place for carriages heading west from London and several inns survive from that era. Its name derives from certain rituals which used to take place and probably still do.
The next town was delightful Cookham. The temperature hit 31 degrees late morning and I found an obliging pub to refill my water bottle. “still or sparkling?”, she asked. It was too early for lunch so I continued along the winding Thames Path. It would be a short walk if I didn’t follow the big meanders of the river.
Bourne End was also nice but there were no pubs to be seen. Just a derelict restaurant with a “for sale” sign. Finally I arrived in charming Marlow at 1.15pm. The hotel offered me the option of an early check in for £10 or lunch in a nearby pub. Once again I drove the UK National Debt further into the red and ate a delicious vegan curry. It was training day for a new batch of school leavers and I was the perfect trainee customer. “What table number?”, she asked. “600” I replied but I was reading upside down. “No 9” the distraught manager yelled back. 009. At least he didn’t make me wear a face mask.
The £19,000 bridge at Maidenhead, built in 1777. This is where an army of Danes landed in 870. They fought their way to Reading where I’m heading tomorrow.
Various animal life blocking the Thames Path.