18 March 2020

Weekly walks: Local parks

A lot has happened in the two weeks since my last long walk, all of it related to coronavirus.

Ten days ago I got flu-like symptoms (it was probably flu!) and I started following the then guidance of having seven days self isolation. I was a bad boy and, with some care, went to the theatre on the fourth day and while I felt well enough at the time I had something of a relapse and another four days in bed.

During that time the coronavirus reaction ignited in the UK and we went from just wash your hands to never see anyone else ever again, or something like that. I was not sure about whether to resume our long walks as the Social Distancing guidance said nothing on this but as we would be outside all the time and could avoid busy places we decided to go ahead as usual.

The first concession that we made was to avoid public transport and to walk locally instead and we agreed to start at Teddington Lock.

From there we took the vary familiar path along the river to Kingston Bridge before crossing it to take the less familiar but still well known route along the river on the Middlesex bank to Hampton Court.

We walked through the gardens there before crossing the road into Bushy Park where we headed for The Pheasantry cafe. Like everyone else we took a table outside some distance from anyone else. We were helped in this by the cafe which had put more seats outside and had spread them out too.

We then took the pretty route through the Woodland Gardens, this is the sharp turn west on the map.

From there it felt like we were home though we still had some way to go. I used to work in Teddington so was able to lead us on a quiet route through some back streets before we hit Twickenham.

There we were able to find the river again and head back to Richmond where Colin left me, on the reasonable grounds that we were walking by his house. That was also fair as he had walked further to the start of the joint walk than I had.

We skipped the usual congratulatory beers at the end because of our Social Distancing.

I carried on to Richmond Bridge  and crossed back to the Surrey side and the much walked route home. Time pressure persuaded me to catch a bus the final leg.

The statistics of the walk were just oner 19km walked in something shy of four hours. Our pace was slightly slower at almost 12 minutes a kilometer probably because I enforced a few pauses to play Pokemon Go! I do not usually play while on our walks but we were close to home this time and there were some gyms that needed taking out.

If the coronavirus remains much the same this week then we plan to do the same next week, i.e. stay local and only go to a cafe and/or pub if we can sit outside in space. But a week is a long time at the moment. 

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