August 1 Thames Path : Henley to Marlow

A mixed riverside walk, but only a few caches!

Today we took the car to Marlow, parked near our end point on the Thames Path and then headed off through Marlow Town Centre to a bus stop where a bus would take us to our official start at Henley. We had so few caches on route we grabbed one in Marlow Town Centre first. It was a great start!

Frequently urban caches are magnetic nanos placed on some boring, indeterminate railings. This cache was a magnetic log book tucked away near a golden letter box.

“Read all about it ! – Cache hidden in Marlow”

British readers may recall that the Post Office painted post boxes gold to celebrate the ‘birthplace’ of GB Gold medal winners during the 2012 Olympics/Paralympics.
Marlow has one such post box and it celebrates the achievements of paralympian, Naomi Riches, part of the gold-winning Mixed Coxed Four Rowing crew (LTAMix4+). Well done Naomi (and crew)!

Celebrating Naomi Riches' 2012 Paralympic Gold Medal

Celebrating Naomi Riches’ 2012 Paralympic Gold Medal

Waiting for our bus, we chatted with another rambler expecting him to be starting his day’s walking. No! He had just finished his walk (at 10am) having left Reading at 4am and watched nature take its course as dawn broke. Sounds really romantic…but just think of the lost hours sleep!

We’d found many of the Henley caches on our previous visit, so we headed straight for the Thames Path. What we hadn’t realised was this was the day of the Henley’s Town and Visitor Regatta and there were rowers/scullers from far and wide. Our progress down the path was hampered by the spectators, coaches (on bikes looking at the crews not at the walkers on the Thames Path), and our stopping to watch the constant conveyor belt of races.

With lots of trophies to be won it was very, very competitive!

We got so used to seeing the crews gently paddle to the start, circumnavigating Temple Island, and lining up for the start.. we almost walked past our next cache.

Temple Island

Temple Island

We had a short walk, uphill, away from the river to find it. It was hidden in woodland and we were totally misled by the clue “at the end of some parallel logs”. We looked at the ends of the parallel logs – but no cache to be found. However there was a tell-tale pile of stickoflage a few feet from the ‘parallel logs’ which we eventually saw to yield the cache! Duh! We dropped our the BadgerBaby Trackable here – good luck on your new adventures!

Badgerbaby joins the other swag in the cache!

Badgerbaby joins the other swag in the cache!

Back to the river and after the noise of the racing, we were grateful for the peace and quiet of the riverside walk. We reached Hambleden Lock – another place where people congregate and then onto open fields. Here we saw our first painter of the walk, and a fine picture he had created too !

Painting the view!

Painting the view!

We were in a long cache-less section which took us away from the river at Aston and through a deer park. No caches here .. I’m sure the deer would eat them!

Aston : The Flowerpot pub

Aston : The Flowerpot pub

Aston : Deer

Aston : Deer

This was a surprisingly quiet section but as we have discovered once a lock is approached, so do the people. Near to Hurley Lock many families were picnicking, barbecuing, and having a good time. All we had to look out for was the occasional football being mis-kicked in our direction!

Hurley was slightly off the Thames Path – but it did have a cache ! It was a multi based on a location used in a 1981 Doctor Who episode “The Visitation”. (No we didn’t remember it either!)
We quickly found the all the information and more importantly, the Doctor Who themed cache container (no photo now.. wait until our end of year best-caches blog.. sorry!).

1981 Doctor Who filming location... anyone remember it ?

1981 Doctor Who filming location… anyone remember it ?

Hurley Lock was busy. It was THE place to be on a sunny Saturday afternoon. A campsite. An ice-cream seller. Toilets. Boats. River. Places to sit. People watching the world go by.

Hurley Lock

Hurley Lock

Here we crossed banks from Berkshire to Buckinghamshire and ambled towards Marlow. Just one more cache – magnetically hidden – but some 30 feet from the published co-ordinates. Fortunately we’d read this before we arrived at GZ, but it didn’t make our searching any easier especially as the path was narrow and busy!

So we found all four of our target caches, a gold post box, set a trackable free, and walked a further 8.5 miles down the Thames!

Marlow ... here we come!

Marlow … here we come!

Thames Path statistics :
Route length : 8.75
Total distance walked : 113.65 miles

Caches found : 4 Total caches found : 209

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