Wednesday, 30 August 2017

It could not last....

Tuesday 29th August 2017
Medmenham to Bourne End
6.25 miles, 3 locks

We woke to another wonderful sunny morning.  About an hour after George and Carol left we pulled pins and headed off in the opposite direction.  Before we left, however, Monty had to have his walk around the meadow.  I guess this notice is a sign of the times we live in.

What a wonderful spot to stop

and there at the far end of the above picture is Tentatrice

By the time we got back to the boat the sheep had returned and I am delighted to say that Monty took very little notice of them

Then we were off with cruisers dashing past us

and plenty of wonderful properties to admire

This was RAF Medmenham during the last world war - I am sure they had fewer trees and therefore a much enhanced view

And as for the speedy cruisers - they did not get far as we all ended up sharing the first lock

What a difference a day makes - no queues now the bank holiday is over

Marlow is another really scenic town with this wonderful church as you approach

Just enjoy the views

There was another narrow boat behind us and we were very glad when the canoeists suggested we went in first!

 Is this what they mean by 'open plan living'?

Bourne End was our target for the day and sure enough there was a narrow boat sized hole which we took - the neighbours today were a lot noisier and messier than the sheep last night and this morning.

Yes we know we should moor with our bow upstream, but the flow is minimal at present and when it is hot we really need the side hatch facing the water, not only so we can enjoy the view across the Thames, but more importantly we needed it open to keep us cool.

The view the other side left a lot to be desired.

Wednesday 30th August 2017
Bourne End to below Boveney Lock
8.75 miles, 4 locks

I woke early thanks to these two Egyptian geese who made so much noise that Chris thought there was a whole flock of them!

As I said in the title - it could not last....  

We woke today to grey damp weather and by the time we pulled pins at 08:00 it was spitting which is continued to do on and off, but always more 'on' each time we got to a lock.

These are the moorings on the island opposite Cliveden - the seen of the loss of our tunnel light two years ago - the tree won the day as we moored up!

More properties to wonder at - lots of '0's' with big numbers in front of them!

These very fit young men from Maidenhead Rowing Club overtook us, turned around and went back again.

What was Bray film studios is looking very sad

Oakley Court Hotel with moorings for patrons.  Chris and I did stay here for one night many years ago - only because in those days you could get free overnight stays with dinner as Barclaycard deals. The wine required a mortgage, however the waiter knocked it over (it was nearly empty), so they did not charge us for it!

 We had intended going to Windsor, however when we stopped at Boveney lock for water the rain was incessant and the mooring looked so inviting that we decided to stop.

The rain did stop mid afternoon so we were able to walk almost all the way to Windsor with Monty.

This is something we would never have seen from the boat

An amazing mural created in 2012

and despite being there 5 years there is only one very small piece of graffiti.

Having gone to good old Mr Google we have discovered that it was created for the Olympics and is interactive - not sure that, had we known, either of us would have been able to work out how to do it, but here is the link if you want more information.

Back to the boat and a non rainy view of Windsor marina across the other side of the racecourse.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

A Brilliant Birthday

Monday 28th August 2017
Henley to Medmenham Meadows
4.25 miles, 1 lock

What a fantastis day yet again - brilliant sunshine, no wind - just glorious.  First the mundane tasks that have to be done plus a trip to Tesco which is an easy walk from where we were moored - well easy when you have nothing to carry but empty bags, but not so good with two full rucksacks and 4 shopping bags!  We cheated and got a taxi to take us back to the end of Mill Lane which was only around 100 yards from the boat.  Chris walked Monty whilst I stowed the shopping away and then we were off.  A very short trip today, but oh what a wonderful one - the weather could not have been better and Henley is so visually attractive that for the most part I am just going to let the photos tell the tale.

I dread to think what the fees are per week in this retirement complex of  'close care apartments and nursing home'!


I wonder what state the boat was in that hit this very substantial bridge!?

   Henley Reach looking ahead

and behind

Dedicated boat cleaning!

A border collie in boots

I cannot imagine the noise that would emanate from Monty if we tried this with him

 First indications that things might be busy at the lock

They were

 With more coming up behind us

We waited around 20 minutes when all ahead of us started to go into the lock - we really thought we would not make it, but the lock is very large and to our surprise we squeezed in at the back - as we had never had room to moor whilst we waited we missed an ice cream opportunity!

We were quite quickly down and on our way behind the three large cruisers and three smaller ones we had shared the lock with

The queue to go up was no smaller - a very busy day.

With yet more steaming up to join the queue

And here was our target

Friends George and Carol on their fabulous widebeam boat 'Still Rockin'.

George moved out, so we could go on the inside - easier for Monty and also they were going to be leaving early the next day.

And what a mooring this is - with a 'garden' so big it must be every dogs dream.

Even if you do have to share it with the neighbours

We had an afternoon of tea and chat on the back of Still Rockin' - Monty made good use of the extra space and made himself at home

It is a very comfortable space - we can see the attraction of a much larger boat.

 There was a constant stream of boats going both ways, but only one of these

With such an appropriate number plate

Then it was down to the serious business of a barbecue - Monty kept an eye on the sheep, but I am glad to say he was content to just watch until they came that bit too close when he did get up to move them along, but one blast on the whistle and he came straight back.

One has to have some bubbly on a birthday!!

We ate on the back deck of Still Rockin' and spent a wonderful evening together - good food, great friends with lots of talk on a warm summer's evening - what more could you want.

We moved inside for coffee and Monty was allowed to make himself at home - it is a little out of focus, but it is the only one I got.

Thank you both for your hospitality - I hope we meet up again one day.  Safe travels to you both.

 George and Carol ready to leave early on Tuesday morning.

Snapping you snapping me!