Day 2

Having had trouble getting from the end of the first section to the start, I decided that I needed to choose the end of each subsequent section on the ability to get to the start of each section. I also thought that 15 or 16 miles per section was probably a bit too much for me. I therefore decided to ignore the recommended sections on the national trails web site.

I chose Foxhill as the end of day 2 and drove there and parked the car near the cross-roads. As soon as I parked, an older couple, who had been waiting in the bus shelter, came over and asked if I knew where the pub' was. I could see that the pub was there but under-going re-furbishment. They were hoping to eat there, as they had just completed the walk from Ogbourne, which I was just about to do. I had already checked that it was going to be very difficult or impossible to get busses to the start (being Easter Monday) so I walked to the cross-roads and tried to thumb a lift. I was pleased that someone stopped after about ten minutes, and off we went. I explained that I want to get to Ogbourne but there was no reaction from the driver and I sensed that we were heading for Swindon. At a main road, I saw a sign for Marlborough and asked to get out, which I did. I walked back to the main road and thumbed again. It took another ten minutes or more before a man stopped with a dog in the back. I explained where I wanted and he was going right passed there. On the way he explained that the dog was a drug detector dog and they were just returning home after work. The dog could detect 3 different drugs and was being taught by another dog to detect a fourth.

I was dropped off right by the Ridgeway and I met with three ladies who on a local circular walk: we walked together for next ten minutes until we went our separate ways. The next section climbed uphill and became more remote with wetter tracks and fewer people. I saw a couple coming towards me which I recognised: it was the older couple who I had met earlier in the day. We got talking and he said he was 78 and his wife had had both hips eplaced so now she could walk further. They had decided to walk back along the route to get home: so they were doing at least 16 miles! As it got towards lunch-time I climbed further and there was a strong southerly wind. I saw an old waggon and decided to take shelter behind the remains of it. Here I had my sandwiches. After lunch it was not long before a started downhill and realised that it was not far back to the car at Foxhill. I estimate that this section was about 8 miles. With time to spare, I decided to reconnoitre the best place to finish the next section. I saw a sign for cream teas so turned around and followed the signs to a small farm where I had my cream tea as a reward for finishing day 2. I carried on and decided that day 3 would end at a small car park south of Wantage.

What happened next