The obstacle is the way

Today got off to an inauspicious start, being greeted on the first footpath of the day by a memo that I managed to miss during myextensive preparations:

A memo from East West Rail Phase 2 announcing that they'd closed the footpath I was on

At least this only wasted a quarter of a mile. Speaking of the East West Rail Phase 2, I assume this is it:

The beginnings of a railway - just sculpted and packed earth at present

Some hours later I was somewhat taken aback to discover a heap of horse manure, about 10 feet high and 30 feet wide, completely blocking the footpath. No way to go around, and no way was I going over.

A massive steaming pile of horse manure
Quite literally the biggest steaming pile of horseshit I have ever seen

To think I used to be put off by footbridges like this one:

A pretty dodgy looking bridge - made up of two sleepers, one of which was completely rotten

The next challenge was courtesy of some new build houses on the outskirts of Brackley:

A horrific mess of a builder's yard

I thought this was a badly run tip when I first saw it, but there are new builds to the right

One footpath I decided not to take:

A footpath sign completely overgrown by nettles and brambles

A couple of miles from the hotel I was rather downcast to discover this swamp with handily placed extra-slippery logs to tempt the unwary into crossing.

Swampy ground with logs across it

And finally, the only obstacle to defeat me today. I went out of my way by over a mile to avoid this 400 yards of wall to wall stinging nettles.

4 foot high nettles as far as the eye can see

It brightened up my day to see this sitting on it own in the middle on a gigantic field:

A lone gate attached to a fence post, but no fence


  • Sleep last night: 7hr 49min (still unconvinced)
  • Miles covered: 26.2/75 (today/total)
  • Miles to go: 135 (estimate)
  • Steps: 55,435/158,808 (today/total)
  • Calories expended walking: 4,799
  • Walking speed (kph): 3.5-6.4
  • Arrival at hotel: 14:50
  • Motorways crossed total: 3 (M25, M1, M40)


  • Winslow
  • Padbury
  • Buckingham
  • Westbury
  • Brackley
  • Hinton-in-the-Hedges
  • Farthinghoe
  • Middleton Cheney
  • Banbury

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