Thursday, 29 August 2019

Thames End

Our three-month holiday is over, we have left the Thames behind to start a journey northwards. We always enjoy our Thames cruises, we have had some great weather as well as some very stormy conditions.

With friends, we sampled an ale or two in a couple of the Thames' finest hostelries, a few while chilling out on the bankside too. Richard & Linda had caught us up at champagne lawn and produced a Festina Lente tea towel they found in a Cornwall curiosity shop. Sue will take it home when we finally give up cruising, that's if I haven't used it down the engine 'ole.😜

Radcot meadow.

St John's lock weir stream.

Buscott Lock.
View from Rushy mooring AKA champagne lawn.

The Trout moorings.

Thanks, R&L

Monday, 19 August 2019

Thames Path

Went for a Sunday morning stroll along the Thames Path towards Cricklade about 8 miles away according to google.

The path detours away from the Thames in places by some distance, I presume to get around parcels of land the landowners don't want walkers on. This puts extra miles on the journey. The walk is completely rural, hugging the meandering river 50% of the time, edges of farmers fields and a section of tarmac road make up the rest.

I walked as far as Castle Eaton and the Red Lion pub which was closed, it was early and it looked like there was refurbishment going on. So no point hanging around. I could have done with some refreshment, this walk was a spur of the moment decision and I hadn't bothered bringing water.

Sunday worshipers at the Parish church invited me to join them - if a cuppa was on offer I might have considered it - I thanked them for their kindness and took the photo I had come for.

As I carried on towards Cricklade my way was barred by a herd of cows, this doesn't usually phase me but they did run towards me, were very vocal and a few had calves with them. Definitely not the placid boat licking Lechlade type of bovine.

Walking back to the T junction at the top of the village a sign displayed 4 miles to Cricklade. My tracker informed me I had already walked 8.74 miles. So I terminated the walk here and did the route in reverse.

Saint John the Baptist at Inglesham

"The Thames was all gold. God it was beautiful, so fine that I began working a frenzy, following the sun and its reflections on the water" -Claude Monet

Field of sunflowers

This boat is moored about 3 miles upriver of Lechlade's roundhouse on the edge of the airfield.
 In 1986 I tried to take a small tender with a 2hp outboard upriver from the Roundhouse but only got a few hundred yards, the channel was choked with vegetation, having cleared the prop of weed half a dozen times I turned back.

St Mary the Virgin, Castle Eaton.

I only met one other walker on the Thames Path today, Jim from Hull is in his late twenties. He is doing the whole thing from source to sea (215 miles) stopping in an Airb&b in Oxford tonight (approx. 40-mile day).

I might like to do the whole Thames Path one day, with a bit more planning than today's effort.

Thursday, 15 August 2019

Belloc's day.

After quite a few bridges and locks we are back where we were 2 months ago, at Pinkhill.  We will take a slow meander to Lechlade for the third time this year. It is simply gorgeous along this river and we never tire of it.

Culham Lock
At Sandford lock we had a two-hour wait as the hydraulics had failed, trapping a trip boat full of customers in the lock chamber until an engineer arrived. The locks on the Thames use vegetable oil in the hydraulics in case of leaks.

Port Meadow

"A man from the fifteenth century could walk along the river here and would hardly know that he had passed into a time other than his own" Hilaire Belloc (1907)

Apart from a few pillboxes, not a great deal has changed since Belloc's day.

Shifford Lock

Thursday, 1 August 2019

"The floral tastes of the lock keeper........

......generally make Sonning Lock very bright and gay" - Charles Dickens (1882)

Sonning Lock 1900

Sonning lock 2019



Caversham bridge - Reading
Boardwalk Henley.

Temple Island

Broad boat - narrow crew!

After spending a couple of nights in Henley we decided that for this year this would be our turn around point. We really want to spend a couple more weeks on the upper Thames before heading back to the canals.

Marsh Lock 1908

Marsh Lock 2019