For a moment, I thought I was back in India, where cows are everywhere – from the high street to the beach.
Curiously, I’d been on several Meetup walks in Gorring but none of them took in the Thames. We were following a walk in the OS Pathfinder series for the Home Countries, which I had mapped out. That walk also avoided the Thames. Luckily, Helene noticed we were close to the Thames and I amended the finish to follow the Thames Path. It turned out that the viewpoint on the way to the Thames and the riverside path itself were the best parts of the walk! I sometimes wonder when people design walks whether they’ve actually done them.
The Thames itself is very different from how it appears in London. It’s scenic and you’re walking right next to it. Whilst we were walking, we came across a herd of cows who, like some people, were taking a dip in the Thames.
After the walk, we saw a chippie and bought some to eat on the riverside. It was the first takeaway I’d had since lockdown ended. Life almost seemed normal.
Helene, who drove us to Gorring, has some family history in the area. Her grandparents, when evacuated from London during the Second World War, settled a few kilometres from Gorring in South Stoke. We went to the pub that they ran during the period. It’s a posh restaurant now. We probably would not have been welcome in our hiking gear.