Castles in the Air

I mentioned in a recent blog that I did a geocache alongside the Three Castles Path.

It was a bit poignant really: The Three Castles Path runs from Windsor Castle to the castle at Winchester, passing the ruins of Odiham Castle on the way. I started walking the path with Mark the Buddhist years ago – about 1996, I think – with a weekend starting at the Windsor end; we always intended to return one day and finish it off (along with the North Downs Way, the urban bit of the Thames Path, and the Pennine Way). Then Mark’s cancer was diagnosed, and now we never will.

That first weekend on the Three Castles was a bit of a disaster anyway: By a combination of bad luck, bad planning and pure incompetence we only managed to get from Windsor to Sandhurst in two days: That was partly because we had to finish a bit early on the Sunday as I had a commitment in the evening, but the main problem came from the combination of:

  • Nowhere in Windsor was serving food on Friday evening1
  • The Youth Hostel wasn’t doing breakfast on Saturday morning
  • The place a couple of miles in, where we’d planned to get breakfast instead, was shut

You’ll understand that nearly 24 hours surviving on jelly babies slowed us down a bit, so we hadn’t gone anywhere near as far as we’d intended by the time we found a pub to eat in Saturday lunchtime. Then we stuffed ourselves so stupid that we could barely move for the rest of the day.

At least we learned the lesson there, never to travel without some sort of emergency supplies, even if you don’t expect to need them.

1 Or at least, nowhere we could afford to eat.

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