Tuesday 15 July
Another hot and sunny day ahead - 80 degrees
We found our location back on the Thames Path and continued along it. We were now getting to much more industrial Thames scenery with gravel and sand drudging barges being loaded + unloaded, recycling and waste sorting plants, sewage treatment works and such like. It was still fascinating. There were numerous very old looking wooden posts in the Thames sand that once supported piers, and piers that were clearly now dangerous structures due to decay. I thought of Tony Robinson and Time Team.
Towards the end of the day we left the Thames Path in order to turn inland and head to the campsite that we had originally planned for the night before. The areas that we walked through to get to the campsite were decidedly ‘ dodgy ’. The neighbourhood reminded me of that in Shameless, only in London and with lots of horses tethered all over the place.
Finally after walking through the more pleasant ‘ Lesnes Abbey ’ grounds, we arrived at our destination. The site was very busy with mix of tents, camper vans, caravans. Our camping field was multi national with us, French, Dutch, Italian, German and more Dutch. It struck me that, in fact, this was a great location at which to stay if doing the tourist sights of London. Good for them.
We had been advised by the enthusiastic rule following campsite assistant ( example - she was going round the site looking for, finding, and dismantling empty clothes lines that had been erected by campers - health and safety of course ! ) that squirrels could open zips, and that foxes loved shoes. So, all of our food had to be wrapped and double wrapped and closed tightly in our waterproof Ortlieb cycle bags so as not to attract the naughty squirrels of which there were many, and our crocks, shoes, boots had to be either in the same bags or inside the tent with us. Our tent and bags were fortresses against wildlife, except for the inevitable teeny flies that got into the tent.
We dined in style sitting at a picnic bench rather than on the ground consuming our now regular diet of seven a day fruit and veg plus pasta.
Distance - 10 miles
Distance since Helmsley - 408.75