Another fab day! Despite Netia’s prediction of rain, not a drop fell on us. It was a fairly flat day’s walk of 18.9 miles. We have decided to visit any churches that we pass on the way and that gave us 3 stops today.
We left Alton a little late due to Rhona spotting some bargains in the Oxfam shop last night, ie a silk sleeping bag liner for £1.99. So we had to check that out, and yes, dear reader, she bought it.
It was fab to have Netia and Ginny with us. It gave us a different dynamic and lots of laughs.
So. Our first church visit was to Holy Rood, Holybourne which had a large pond in the churchyard with a duck island. We met fellow walkers to Canterbury there, but they are taking a few more days and are staying in B&Bs (ooh, the luxury!). They were a lovely couple, Angelika and Peter from Germany. It was lovely to bump into them several more times during the day. They said they loved being in England because ‘it is so messy with overgrown hedges’.
Another warm welcome came in St Mary’s, Upper Froyle with a lovely lady who showed us their wonderful exhibit of 17th century Italian vestments. And a beautiful millennium window of the Pilgrim’s Way.
The next church, St Mary’s in Bentley had fabulous yew trees with twisted trunks and a couple of gentlemen – Vince (the Silver Fox!) and James, who were creating a new path to their church extension.
We saw a couple of deer in a harvested field, but they ran too fast for a photo.
So, the end of the St Swithun’s Way has led us to Farnham and now the North Downs Way. We finished at St Lawrence’s in Seale with weary feet.
Netia’s husband, John arrived bang on time to collect our fellow Pilgrims and it was sad to say cheerio to them. We have the luxury of Ali and John’s house (friends of Jonathan) who have been so kind and welcoming. Oh the joy of a bed again!
Now we have the prospect of 19 miles tomorrow and a visit to Guildford Cathedral to look forward to – and meeting Fi’s daughter, Emily for that stretch.
Love the Pilgrims