Woodstock to Bourton-on-the-Water
Yesterday I left the Thames Path at Oxford and walked along the Oxford Canal path to Woodstock. Today was my one day on the Oxfordshire Way. It was another lovely walk in England.
I set off from Woodstock at 6.30 and walked across the Blenheim estate as if I owned it. Churchill did. Among its treasures is the magic Harry Potter tree along the river bank. Not many people know that unless they’ve taken the guided tour. Today the grounds were empty, not a soul about. Everything was wet from the overnight rain but the day was quite nice, if a little misty.
Ahead of me were 36Km of fine Cotswolds scenery. Every vista available as an oil painting from the many galleries in the many villages. Even the sheep in the fields were available for sale, either for delivery or click and collect. There was a telephone number but nowhere to specify medium or well done. But that’s ok if you’re fortunate to share your life with someone who can cook a leg of lamb. I did once but she dumped me.
Anyway you can probably gather that nothing much happened today. Anyone else would descend into describing the villages, the age of the churches, the colour of the houses, perhaps the local economy. Even something about a famous watchmaker who lived in one of the villages “as a child”. My only interest lies in the people I meet along the way. And today there were none. I love other walkers because they always have a story but I’m happy talking to the Costa Coffee staff, a barber or a gardener. If I come home with a blog full of inspiring people, my mission is complete.
The village store in Charlbury. It wasn’t a Family Mart. I couldn’t pay 100 yen and press the button for a hotto latte. The Indian owner explained the economics of installing a Costa Coffee vending machine which is why he didn’t have one. But he had a kettle, an old tin of instant coffee, a paper cup and some milk. He wheeled out his office chair and I soon enjoyed what was probably the best coffee I’ve had since you know where.
He told me he wants to walk in India and asked me whether I was camping. Well hang on a minute, isn’t there a pilgrimage or two down the Ganges?
A beautiful Cotswolds church and village…