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Boat Blog: The Odyssey 2016 – Day 42 – River Thames

Posted by indigodream on 31 August, 2016

Rewind to Saturday 30th July

Abingdon to Godstow

From here it looks like an island....

From here it looks like an island….

We traveled to the boat on Saturday morning and didn’t have too bad a journey – Indigo Dream had been fine on the moorings (we’d sneaked an extra day) and we were soon on board and ready to go. Well, I was, Richard went off and did an early car shuffle to Lechlade while I single-handed through Abingdon Lock (not a hardship with three lock-keepers on duty!) and headed off the lock-free stretch to Sandford. By now, Henry and Archie had gone home for a rest, but Herbie had stayed on to keep us company – we’d have been pretty desolate otherwise.

Again, I’ve hardly got any notes and very few photos, but I do remember the “whippet cafe” at Abingdon Lock – named for the resident whippet who normally roams the lockside blagging ice-cream (apparently!), though sadly he was away today.

As always, I enjoyed the trip upriver – it’s so very beautiful – and also much quieter above Abingdon. I soon arrived at Sandford lock – I moored well back below the lock and signalled to the lockie that I was waiting for crew. I tried to interest Herbie in a bimble but he’d much rather stay on the sofa! As I waited in Sandford, the memories came flooding back – we’ve moored there many times and the spirits of Blue and Lou romped joyfully round the lock island.

But it's the root ball of a fallen tree - still thriving - it feel down years ago but it's thriving :-)

But it’s the root ball of a fallen tree – still thriving – it feel down years ago but it’s thriving πŸ™‚

It wasn’t long before Richard joined me and we were off again. We stopped off in Oxford for a quick chat with Jon of the Green Boat Company; sadly we missed seeing Sam and lurcher Kara from nb Element – both friends from Twitter.

We don’t like how Oxford has stuffed the Thames into a culvert above Osney lock, but the meadows beyond were as picturesque as ever. There are some fearsome shoals there, so it pays to keep to the centre of the channel. But the local residents were making the best of the beaches created by the shallows as they paddled and picnicked.

We got through Godstow lock and played mooring roulette – to moor downstream of the bridge or go upstream and risk there not being any spaces. We uhhmed and ahhhhd, but decided to moor downstream of the bridge as a quick recce with Herbie showed that the meadow upstream of the bridge was full of young cattle and not to be trifled with. It was quite late by the time we finished jiggling around trying to get Indigo Dream into a tidy mooring – in the end we gave up and reversed onto the far end of the lock moorings.

Beaautiful reflections...

Beautiful reflections…

We walked over to the Trout at Godstow, leaving Herbie on board because the bridge is very narrow and it would have been a bit far for him with his bad back and sore feet (long story). I didn’t remember the Trout until we got over the bridge, then I recalled that we’d been there before. The pub was heaving and service was a bit chaotic and the food disappointing – when I checked my blog post from our previous visit in 2009 I’d written “Despite its gourmet menu and lavish surroundings the service was slow and chaotic…..when the food finally came it was rather dry and overcooked – what a pity” – nothing had changed there I’m afraid. However, there has been one improvement – the pub is now dog friendly – hurrah!

We were a bit disconsolate as we wandered back to the boat, but Herbie cuddles made the world a better place πŸ™‚

 

Photoblog:

Iffley Lcok is chocolate box charming - this is just the weir - look at those mature trees - priceless!

Iffley Lcok is chocolate box charming – this is just the weir – look at those mature trees – priceless!

Takes all sorts....

Takes all sorts….

Pastoral scene from the extensive meadows below Godstow lock...

Pastoral scene from the extensive meadows below Godstow lock…

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