Day 3 started without sunshine, but high clouds which we thought would make it feel cooler but actually it felt all muggy! However, Rhona and Fi managed to drag themselves away from the lovely Sophie (dog) and her owners Chris and Di at 8.40am, while Jonathan took the bulk of the heavy gear onto Alton – tonight’s stop. The walk went over the River Itchen (hee hee) and up and around a golf course with grand views.
Rhona’s need to find interesting farm animals was slow to start – just some sheep and cows. Then, oh joy, alpacas! They were so friendly and ran over to us to be photographed.
Rhona then made us take a (completely unnecessary) diversion (up a hill) to see some steam train that (allegedly) would appear as we arrived. Oh joy. So up the hill we go, with Rhona saying ‘We need to take a photo for Michael’! And after a bit of running uphill with our backpacks on, hey presto, a steam train chuffing across the bridge with the passengers waving at us. Hope you like it, Michael!
There followed a fair bit of road walking, a little tiring on the feet, but great views. We had 5 large fields of barley to walk through the middle of – ooh, a bit of a ‘Gladiator’ moment!!
Raising money for St Thomas’s feels good. We arrived in Ropley and saw their church, or what is left of it. It burnt down 6 weeks ago. It puts our blessings into context. The village coffee shop is giving away hot drinks for free if you put a donation in the restoration fund – duly done.
We met Jonathan at Four Marks and walked onto Alton via Chawton – a gentle stroll through woods. Our calculations were wrong for today – we did 18 miles.
A very warm welcome awaited us from Pippa at St Lawrence’s church hall. And hurrah, Netia from St Thomas’s and Fi’s daughter Ginny have joined us for the night and tomorrow’s walk. An early night, I think and an early start for the 16 miles to Seale.
Friends made today: Lynn and Sally Johnson from Indiana. Thank you for the Rich Tea biscuits.
Question of the day: what is the difference between an alpaca, a llama and a vicuña?¿
Love the Pilgrims