|A rock in a field (the source of the Thames)|
This section of the path is extremely well marked. There is not a single decision point which doesn't have a route marker to show you the way. Passing through fields of slightly startled cows and sheep, I saw a huge amount of wildlife; crows, rabbits, pheasants, grouse and a couple of kingfishers once the river was more than the odd puddle or squirt of water in a ditch.
|Not the path, but the river bed.|
|Not so glorious mud|
|Danger - Quicksand|
Having safely negotiated the lakes and quicksand(!) of the Keyneses (Somerford and Ashton) I managed to go off course by missing a really very clear sign to turn off the road and up towards Castle Eaton. I had it in my head about the section of the path that's marked as a section you want to take a taxi to cover as it's a mile on a national speed limit road with blind bends; and I thought I'd hit that section a lot earlier than I'd expected in the day, so I totally missed the sign and trotted onwards down the road I was on. For over a mile. With no end in sight, so I had a bit of a freak out with the map and realised I was waaaay off course and had to trot all the way back for over a mile to Castle Eaton again when I was already quite tired and was really looking forward to stopping running.
No more eventfulness after that, thankfully and the trot into Lechlade was mainly along the edges of fields, through more wet grass and mud just to finish off the day with soaking feet and fantastically muddy shoes. Day one; done.