Alpacas, ostriches and surprisingly easy walking

13 June 2018

We’d made it to Kiln Lane without getting stung, which felt a little like a miracle. We’d got across three bank breaches, one that had left me with wet feet, and had climbed over one fallen tree. According to Commando, there was at least one more fallen tree and, possibly, one more bad bank breach somewhere along the eight and a half miles between Kiln Lane and home. If I was a betting woman, I’d have put my money on it being on the next stretch of towpath.  Continue reading Alpacas, ostriches and surprisingly easy walking

Weirs, alpacas, goats impersonating cows and stinging nettles


21 April 2015

Even before I crossed the road I could see the green sign was still there and my heart sank a little. Even so, I crossed and peered uncertainly up the towpath. It loooked dry and firm but still I dithered. Last year there was a bad breach where the path looked to be in danger of being washed away altogether. If I went ahead I could come seriously unstuck and have to turn back. The cracked wall was testement to just how bad the flooding had been. The wier was flowing fast, but it wasn’t as high as I’ve seen it. In the end I decided to give it a try. Continue reading Weirs, alpacas, goats impersonating cows and stinging nettles

Homeward bound

Water Farm
Water Farm

Eventually I dragged myself away from my seat overlooking the Itchen Valley and, humming to myself, set off along the lane towards Church Fields. There were sheep grazing on the Water Farm fields. At this point I had a choice of route, down the winding lane to Shawford and onto the Navigation, or across the road and through the southern part of Twyford Village. The Navigation was tempting, mostly because it meant avoiding the horrors of a mile and a bit of footpathless Highbridge Road with cars zooming past at fifty plus miles an hour. The Navigation, on the other hand, would have mud and breached banks. The section between Otterbourne and Allbrook was almost impassable on my last visit. Taking that option could well mean having to turn back. Continue reading Homeward bound