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Boat Blog: The Odyssey 2016 – Day 44 – River Thames, all 188 miles of it!

Posted by indigodream on 2 September, 2016

Rewind to Friday 5th August

Lechlade to Kelmscott

End of the navigation - and a local witness who can testify that we got there :-)

End of the navigation – and a local witness who can testify that we got there πŸ™‚

Although he’s not a demonstrative person, Lucio, our guest last week, really enjoyed his cruise and asked whether he could come again with his family while the boat was near his home town. Well, the real reason for coming again was for Lucio have more cuddles with Herbie, who had charmed him the previous weekend. Of course, we said “yes”, but the complication was that he could only come on the Friday evening. However, we didn’t think that would be a problem – Richard took Herbie to work in Croydon and took the afternoon off so that he could have a late afternoon cruise with Lucio. I was working in Sutton and would be able to set off at 4.30pm to meet them in Kelmscott in plenty of time for supper at the Plough.

Our plans were almost scuppered by the M25 and resultant local congestion – we both had journeys of over three hours, and arrived well after our intended target times. Nonetheless, Richard was able to meet up with our guests and, very importantly, enjoy a trip up to the Inglesham Roundhouse to complete Indigo Dream’s Thames transit. Although we know that some boats have chanced the stretch up to Cricklade and successfully reversed out again, that was an adventure too far for a Friday night. One year we will do it, probably need 2 chainsaws at the front!

It was a stunning evening, what a great day to finish off a journey that had started at Sheerness. We have traveled 188 miles on the river and been though 46 locks, we have seen all sorts of craft from kayaks to 1000 foot long container ships. We have been under Bridge 1 on the Thames, we have cruised past Palaces, been along some truly beautiful sections, such a wonderful journey which we finished off with a lovely dusk cruise downriver to Kelmscott.

We are still many miles from the Thames' source just up there - so tempting just to poke our nose up there - not so keen on getting stuck in the shallows though :-)

We are still many miles from the Thames’ source just up there – so tempting just to poke our nose up there – not so keen on getting stuck in the shallows though πŸ™‚

I was feeling a bit fraught by the time I arrived in Kelmscott, just before 8pm – having to drive four times round the village to find a parking space didn’t help – I hadn’t realised that the Plough was such a popular destination on aΒ  dusky summer’s evening! I eventually parked and walked down the lane to the meadows just as Indigo Dream came into view. The moorings were empty once again, so we were able to moor close to the gate. We suddenly had to grab the hounds when one of Lucio’s boys went “OW” – the single strand fence a few metres in from the water’s edge was electrified! Although we speculated on whether the boys were having us on, no-one felt inclined to check their veracity πŸ™‚

We were soon back at the pub – it was such a lovely evening that many people had chosen to eat outside, leaving us a fine bench table in the bar where we could settle down with the hounds. It was a great end to the night – good food, drink and company – can’t ask for more!

Photoblog:

Lucio taking the helm just below St John's Lock - brve man - there'w work to be done on the hel to get through the meanders downstream...

Lucio taking the helm just below St John’s Lock – brave man – there’s work to be done on the helm to get round the meanders downstream…

 

So worth the journey - a cruise at dusk has to be the best end to a busy working week :-)

So worth the journey – a cruise at dusk has to be the best end to a busy working week πŸ™‚

 

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