Some images from EFOG's visit to Goring on Thames, from Jenny:
The tree was amazing! The roots looked as if they had erupted, and made a good place for a snap.
The walk had been quite muddy and hard going, and when I saw the polar bear it made me smile, as the caption " Are we nearly there yet?" must have been going through a few minds. It was a good holiday, however, and we all enjoyed it.
Jenny, 6th April 2018
The Mudlark Survivors
(Otherwide known as the Goring Easter Weekend Report)
30th March to 2nd April 2018
It was with considerable trepidation that those of us due to go eyed the weather forecast. It was pretty poor. We hoped however that some of the worst might go elsewhere. Lynne, Val Jenny and Jinan were due to go by car. The remainder – Amina, Jill, Dave, Fred and Ken by train. Both journeys went well - though we did hear later that Phil Turney, travelling separately in his own car, had a difficult time getting out of London. For those of us arriving by train our lodgings were only a ten minute walk from the station. However in lashing rain it seemed a lot further.
Room allocation proceeded smoothly probably because the ladies arriving first by car had it all sorted out by the time the rest of us got there. Everyone seemed to enloy their evening meal at the John Barcleycorn pub just along the road. Most opted appropriately for the fish and chips . Those walking to and from the pub again got rather wet.
As we keep telling ourselves “We are a walking and outdoor group” So after a wholesome and satisfying breakfast we set off in good spirits' The plan was to walk part of the Ridgeway/Thames Path between Goring and Wallingford. It should have been a stroll in the park. Lynne and Val had planned to walk a short way with us but being not yet fit for difficult conditions turned back when the going got very muddy and slippery. Although we had in fact only a little light rain at times the conditions under foot were awful for most of the way. Almost every step had to be taken with care to avoid huge puddles, sodden waterlogged vegetation and slippery mudflats. At one point the path lay under 18 inches of water and we had to find a way round. Evitably we had a few slips and falls. We all got muddy - some got very wet and muddy!
Eventually we reached the streets leading into the centre of Wallingford, an ancient market town. On the way we passed the house where Agatha Christie had spent the last years of her life. Some I think doubted there would be a bus to take us back to Goring on a soggy Easter Saturday afternoon but a little hopper 134 bus turned up on schedule. There was free time for all whilst we waited for the bus - to visit a cafe, to shop or to look around the old market square. Never had the locals seen so many passengers for the15.38 bus - but everyone got on.
For supper on Saturday we split into two groups. Four went again to the John Barleycorn and six to the Masoom Indian restaurant. Both groups enjoyed their meal and had a convivial evening.
Sunday dawned a bit damp but with no rain. We planned to walk the Thames Path in the oppposite direction - to Pangbourne. Initially we followed the path along a lane until we passed under the Goring to Pangbourne railway line. The next low lying stretch was again extremely wet and muddy such that detours were necessary. Soon however the river was running swiftly through the Goring Gap a narrow defile where it has cut a bed through the chalk downs. Garments were shed as we clambered up and down an undulating path which hugged the lower slopes of the escarpment. The air was drier now and we climbed away from the river towards Coombe Park Farm. We were now walking easily on firm, dry ground. All too soon we were approaching the village of Whitchurch on Thames. Still on the Oxfordshire side of the river but about to cross a very old toll bridge (still operating) into the market town of Pangbourne. We saw a sign for a memorial to the fallen of the Falklands War in the chapel at Pangbourne College but were unable to visit. We had hoped to meet up withLynne and Val but the timings did not work out. Brian Unwin had also hoped to meet up with us on the Sunday but was unable to make it.
Despite the generally unfavourable weather and the consequent difficult walking conditions I believe we all enjoyed our weekend away.
Ken., 8th April 2018