Friday, 28 October 2016

A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a fuel pump??

Tuesday 18th October to Sunday 23rd October 2016

We prepared to leave Day’s Lock and everything was going well until the moment came to actually…well, go!
There was some spluttering coming from the engine bay, which sounded not at all good, and fortunately we were able to re-moor whilst one of us had a look below (oh, that would be me – after all the engine area is a designated blue job).

A few years ago, we had a problem when the engine wouldn’t start at all; luckily at the time we were moored with Paul and Elaine (nb Caxton as was) and Paul with all of his skills quickly diagnosed the problem that one of the wires to the fuel pump had come unstuck – with deftness he quickly re-inserted it.

Over the intervening time, my size 11’s have done a good job on a few occasions of pulling out one or both and I, being a quick learner, did exactly the same as Paul – re-inserted the problem leads.

This day, it was the same problem, but time has wearied the rubber grommet that held them in place so it took a little longer to get it going, but she eventually did the job and we were able to head off on our way.

Something should have said to me that it was about time to see about replacing the fuel pump and save the angst of a problem like this – someone should have just said exactly that – maybe they did and, as usual, I wasn’t listening to Diane.

The weir at Abingdon - just another lovely weir along the Thames
on a very nice day again.

Anyway, all was well and we cruised all the way to Abingdon and moored up just past the bridge on the eastern side – lovely mooring and in the wide open – it meant that if there was a wind we would be unprotected, but if there was sun then we were set; we had chosen this mooring in preference to those with rings before the bridge – there was to be some prophetic wisdom in that selection.

Abingdon was on the list of places that we wanted to see more of, before we exited from the Thames this year and so we took advantage of the couple of nights that we had planned on being here.
The market square

St. Nicholas' Church

Looking towards St Helens Church

One of the older pubs in Abingdon - right on the Thames

This is for Bev - who just loves chimneys

Friday arrived; Diane had plans to head to Oxford – I think she had Moules and Frites on her mind at the Old Bookbinders in Oxford; I had plans of still moving along; Ferndale – she had plans too, but none of them coincided with ours.
Engine started, everything ready; we pushed off to wind and get some diesel at Abingdon Marine – halfway around the engine splutters and dies – would not restart and we are drifting in the middle of the Thames – I knew what was wrong, so as I started to work on the electrical leads to the pump, Diane was doing her best to guide the boat to the side, which she did magnificently – in fact, so good, we ended up exactly where we had left, but facing the other way.

No matter what I did, the leads would not reconnect and let the pump do what it was meant to do; then whilst checking on the flow of diesel, I found none coming through – was there a blockage somewhere. Took every pipe section apart and could not find a blockage anywhere – what the hell!!
I knew that it had to be that the fuel pump was the problem – do you think we could find anyone anywhere on a Friday afternoon – it had taken 4 hours or so to check on everything; to phone around – places either closed; no fuel pumps; no engineers available – so no way of starting the engine – which of course means no power for the batteries; no power for the fridge/freezer; no hot water.

The only power that we were getting was from the solar panels, so our decision to moor where we did had paid off well - we were able to keep everything going.

Everyone says that the fuel pump is the heart of the engine and they were completely right.

Here we were with the list of possibilities fast dwindling and the likelihood of a delayed wait to fix the problem – it wasn’t that we didn’t know what the problem was, it was simply that we were not sure where we would/could find the replacement part.

So, with no chance of fixing it that day we settled down for a different sort of night – we still had the Reflecs giving us a warm boat, but that was a saving factor.

After a worrying night, when I thought that we could very well be here until Tuesday or even Wednesday, Diane suggested ringing Chris Jones (up north of Stoke) who has worked on the boat and he suggested a name of a guy he knew down here who might help – Chris, himself, had a fuel pump and we were tempted to hire a car and drive the 150 miles and buy it off him.

Anyway, we rang Chris’ contact – Clive Mant – and yes, he had a pump, was happy to bring it over before lunch; we had a chat and he left it with me to fit it in – pump in and fitted but it would not pump – ARRRRRGGGGHHH!

Rang Clive, he had another one – slightly different model – which he brought over and I swapped it over – Clive wasn’t leaving until we had it going – so, we knew it was working now – the characteristic “clicking” noise – but there was so much air in the line – we needed to bleed it everywhere – fuel filter; injectors; return line – after a half hour of all of this, we turned the engine over again and she caught and was running and running and running.

Oh yes!! Relief and joy!!

Afterwards it was easy to sit down again, but out of all of this you look back and see all of the things that you have now learnt to add to the pool of knowledge that you had acquired.

I do know one thing that if it had not been for Clive and his help, we might still be there.

So anyone in the Oxford area who needs someone who can help with boat problems then please give Clive Mant a call (0790 4031 758) – on top of it all he is such a really nice guy as well.

We are building up a list of good reliable people who can help when our knowledge is insufficient.

We stayed the night, but the engine did have a good 2 hour run whilst it was going and in the morning (now Sunday) we did finally fill with diesel and the cruised up to Oxford where we found a good mooring at East Street.

To celebrate all of this we walked along to The Old Bookbinders pub/restaurant for dinner and were rewarded yet again with their lovely crepes - we can highly recommend the entire menu.
Diane's was Ham, Cheese and Egg; mine was the Mexican crepe;
both were exceptionally nice
A better end to a bitter few days, which we celebrated with a lovely cup of tea.

PS: the pump that didn’t work – seems that it was my installing that caused the problem – it does work fine.
I feel exactly like this more and more

16 Miles, 6 Locks
YTD:  724 Miles (1165 km) , 403 Locks, 10 Tunnels, 14 Lift Bridges, 3 Swing Bridges
Total: 4519 Miles (7273 km), 3102 Locks, 122 Tunnels, 59 Lift Bridges, 170 Swing Bridges

Sunday, 23 October 2016

After Reading what next.

Friday 14th October to Monday 17th October 2016

As nice as it has been moored up in Reading, it was again time to be on the move again and so we were off and saying farewell to the K and A – miss us not too much, we shall be back one day, but from the other way.

Morning cruising is just absolutely fantastic at this time of year – provided that there is no wind, no rain and a little sun.

We were busy noting where we could have moored if we hadn’t gone where we had done and then noticed that the moorings west of Caversham Bridge were no more (or is that no moor?) – you know the place, just past the boat house where all of the goose shit usually is – No Mooring signs have sprung up since we where last here.
Well, it seems that the neighbours have got their wish and stopped boats being there – I don’t blame them, I blame the few boaters who abuse the system and stop somewhere for way too long, leave all of the mess dumped on the ground, and just don’t care about anyone else.
Too those who fit this description, don’t expect any sympathy from us when you winge and complain about being prosecuted – you brought it on yourselves and gave everyone a bad name.

There – rant out of the way.

Diane had marked down Mapledurham as a possible mooring place – we hadn’t been there before and so it was a candidate, but sadly the available spaces were gone, so we headed on a bit further, now opting for Pangbourne, where not only were there many spots free, we also managed to get in reasonably close.
So mooring completed, we chose to immediately walk into the village to see what we could find.
The single pedestrian width footpath under the railway bridge was a slight obstacle – well really it was the traffic going past that was the worry, but when we emerged on the other side it was such a lovely little place – maybe it was the sunshine that enhanced it all but I think that it was simply a pleasant place to find ourselves.

We looked into most of the shops along the way; our staple coffee at Costa was completed; and then we thought that a look at the other side of the bridge would be worthwhile as well.

Such a novelty was the little toll booth – charging cars 60p to cross – but I guess that this must be a right of the local landowner – with the number of vehicles passing each way, it most probably is a great little money earner.
A view of  Whitchurch from the bridge

...and this is Whitchurch Church (or is that Whit Church) - anyway it is
not very Whit (or White)

It's all very well until someone bursts in  during'
the Sunday service.

Not just another old church - it is worth the visit inside

We only committed ourselves to stopping for the one night (that was all be were allowed to do), but moored up as we were on the open field, it would be a lovely place to stay in much warmer  months – the following morning we headed off – today it was past 9am before the pins were pulled out.

The tentative schedule from higher management had Goring down as the stopping point for today and as we approached it was pleasing to find a spot available.
After mooring we set off to see the town/village at some leisure – glad we didn’t hurry doing it quickly – not a lot there of any consequence.

We did fancy a coffee and some cake and the little café near to the bridge – Pierreponts – looked fine; we went inside for a seat; found a place next to two guys and were about to share the table when we were gruffly told that all of the tables were reserved for lunch – this was 11am and there were no signs anywhere – we were pretty certain that we could manage coffee and cake in an hour - but I will not tolerate rudeness like that, so I walked out and walked on – we went over the bridge to the Streatley side of the river and after a look around found another café – The Boathouse – with friendly service, lovely coffee and lovely cake – so we recommend this establishment to all who stop in Goring.

Nothing to hold us in Goring we set off to head further on and after watering up at Cleeve Lock – the last water until Abingdon – we moored up at Wallingford – our last time stopping here we were moored up against high ground and had to carve steps into the wall to allow us to get up from the boat; nothing has changed except the location – we were a bit closer to the bridge, but still high ground and carved out steps.
Just like last year - another carved foothold

Diane with a large pussy - er! I mean cat

..and here she is as "The Street Walker"

No, not where Ian Anderson lived - this was the original.

We enjoyed Wallingford and spent a couple of nice days there without anything spectacular, but we did get an almost final chance to sit out in the sun and read our books – it is amazing that even this late in the year we are still getting some very nice weather – not as warm as the summer we have had, but it was quite warm just sitting there.

On Monday we untied and carried on, a proposed destination of Clifton Hampden was foreshortened to Day’s Lock – Diane thought that it might be a nice day to take a walk to the top of Wittenham Clumps – I am sure it was only on the basis that we had only done it once before.
Once again, how long can it keep on going, the sun was out, but this time the breeze was a bit cooler, but after the effort to walk up the hill, the cool air was quite lovely. As usual we could see for miles.
You can see for miles and miles and at least as far as Didcott Power Station

The lovely little village of Wittenham

You can just see it in the middle - looks like the folly of someone from the past

across the lakes

Behind Diane is the weir and the lock and somewhere there is our boat

Spotted this one and a few more overhead as we sat down at the top of
The Clumps to recover

Afterwards, Diane headed into Dorchester, whilst I returned to the boat to get some work done, but we had a lovely cruise and a lovely walk – all I needed was a lovely lie down to recover – fat chance of that happening!

14 Miles, 5 Locks
YTD:  708 Miles (1139 km) , 397 Locks, 10 Tunnels, 14 Lift Bridges, 3 Swing Bridges

Total: 4503 Miles (7247 km), 3096 Locks, 122 Tunnels, 59 Lift Bridges, 170 Swing Bridges

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Out of the mist – The Flying Dutchman

Saturday 8th October to Thursday 13th October 2016

Heading further west, we made a bit of a getaway from Windsor at around our normal time with the intended destination of Maidenhead – we hadn’t seen it before – but with £8 mooring signs everywhere and not enthralling itself to us, we thought that we may as well keep cruising, eventually mooring at Bourne End where we have been before.
Grabbing the last mooring on the railway side, it was quite a nice one, if you tried to ignore and not step in the bloody goose shit.
Anyway we moored up and settled down; wandered into town; Diane found a top to buy and also coffee.

It was just a good chance to rest a bit more – spent a lot of the afternoon just reading and then watched a better display from England – albeit against Malta – and Diane watched her Strictly (and I did as well!).
I know that most people who read this blog know what we look like, but I have
to include one of the both of us for Diane's parents - Mil and Fil - just so
that they remember what we look like - they are old, you know.

Sunday was a better day and we still have a bit of a schedule to meet – bottom of the Napton flight before 7th November, so although we didn’t go far, we were still travelling – ended up on the moorings below the lock at Marlow – right in the sun and the panels and batteries were loving it.

The feel of autumn is well and truly with us – some lovely warming sun (not hot) but the air is cold (rather than cool) and the wind is now stronger.

Diane decided a lovely way to start Monday, before we moved, would be breakfast at Slug and Lettuce (half-price) – so for under a tenner we both ate very well indeed.
Then we were off again – this time intending to stop at Medmenum, but something suggested to us to go up through Hambledon Lock and moor there – egods! £8 a night there – not an your nelly! If we were going to pay to moor around Henley then it would be down in the town itself and so we moored there – right alongside the lovely park area – we wandered into town – had to pick up a few things – wandered back – I had had time earlier to get the £10 ready in small denomination coins, but sadly (and I was bitterly disappointed), the warden didn’t come around to collect his money – I refuse to go somewhere to pay the mooring fee – they can bloody well come to me and collect it.

The bridge at Henley with the Isis figure head
on the upstream side
So, to make sure of it we left very early the next morning with the money in our pocket and not someone else’s.

There was a bit of mist on the river as we made it to Marsh Lock, but as we departed the mist turned to fog and quite thick – entering the enveloping atmosphere, we disappeared from sight from where we had come; forward progress found us exiting and reentering the fog – if this had been on seas further afield we would have been taken as a craft of other circumstances.
Approaching Marsh Lock - the object in the water ahead of us is just a duck,
although when I first looked it, it looked a bit like a fin.

With the mist comes the cold, and it was my chance to do
the locking and get a bit warmer. Diane as usual handled
the boat without any problems

Into the fog we go, maybe never to be seen again, except as a ghost ship!
A mile or so further along the sun started to shine through and the mist disappeared, but up to then it was a surreal feeling – the river so calm and the air so fresh.
The sun did come out to play later on and here we are just
outside Uri Geller's old house
The bridge at Sonning - always so lovely, but no sign of George Clooney anywhere
After filling the water tank at Shiplake Lock Services (Diane had finished the washing so the tank would be filled completely) we carried on heading further west – our aim was Reading and thanks to Dot and Gordon (nb Ewn Ha Cul) we headed down the K and A and after passing through Blake’s Lock it was a right-hand turn and we moored up behind Reading Goal.
Now we can say that we have been on the K and A, all-be-it for just a mile or so.

...but it was a nice mile for an old industrial area

We were in the sun but slightly under a horse-chestnut tree, but with good reception.

The weather has been steadily getting cooler and we have daily putting the Reflecs on in the late afternoon and early evening; the wind was not strong but obviously enough that every so often there would be a bang on the roof as the chestnuts were blown off the tree and landed on us.

It was such a nice place that we decided to spend an extra day there, with part of the time taken up with some shopping – a bit of a walk to Lidl but worth it – in terms of saving money and just the exercise.

It seems the ideal place to moor when visiting Reading and if we are ever here again we would certainly moor here again – Thanks Dot, thanks Gordon!
And to remind us of our daughter Sam!

27 Miles, 12 Locks
YTD:  694 Miles (1117 km) , 392 Locks, 10 Tunnels, 14 Lift Bridges, 3 Swing Bridges

Total: 4489 Miles (7224 km), 3091 Locks, 122 Tunnels, 59 Lift Bridges, 170 Swing Bridges

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Just moving right along

Tuesday 4th October to Friday 7th October 2016

Mooring at Teddington means being fairly close to the wier there and consequently a degree of background noise – we were exhausted again on Monday night and did not hear a thing as we hopped into bed – awaking reasonably refreshed on Tuesday morning.

A bit more work completed and then time to cruise away; another lovely sunny day again – are we still in England – we keep hearing of bad weather further north, but for us it has been quite lovely indeed – we know that it is a bit cooler, but it is sunny!!

We needed to have a reasonably quick stop at Kingston – Diane wanted to get a few things that she hadn’t found and I needed to visit the HSBC branch there – whilst we were cruising to Limehouse on Sunday, I was walking the towpath and came across a debit-card lying there. I called the bank on Sunday evening to advise them, they cancelled the card and I needed to just drop it into the nearest branch – hence a stop at Kingston.

A bonus was that on our way back to the boat we found a quite large asian supermarket which we hadn’t been looking for but we picked up a few more ingredients that Diane wanted to use in the Japanese pancakes that she has been making – they taste better than the ones in Paddington Basin and just as good as the best we have been used to.

After an hour stop we pushed off and as we neared Hampton Court Palace a cruiser coming towards us but a distance away, was winding and then mooring up on the moorings there – imagine our surprise to find when we got closer that the cruiser was the ONLY boat moored there – we had never seen it like that before – pity that we didn’t want to stop there.
...still known as the "Selfie-Queen"
Our planned destination was around Shepperton. It was only about an hour and a half away and with the day as pleasant as it was we enjoyed the time outside on the water and the wind sweeping through our hair.
Up through Shepperton lock and around the island we moored up at “Chersey Meads” right behind Still Rockin’ – well fancy that, it was almost as though we knew they were right there – wait a minute, we did – Diane had seen on the blog and had texted to Carol that we were on our way.
A cuppa on board with both George and Carol and another couple (Colin and Rikki) who were building a wide-beam – so a chat about various things on boats for cruising the Thams and canals – Colin and Rikki were more attuned to sea-going craft.

Later on, George did the honours with the BBQ, and a great job he did too! We enjoyed a lovely evening with two very lovely friends and honoured we are to be able to say that.
A Master Chef lesson for me from George (the master)

for everyone to see - Diane with salad - it certainly amused Carol

We needed to move along the next day, so at 9am we waved farewell to both and we were off again – not so much as a tight schedule but one that we wanted to keep moving now rather than having to stress later if we got tight with time.
The start of a lovely sunny day
Approaching Staines, we spotted a familiar vessel – No Problem XL – we pulled alongside, Vic appeared but there was no Sue – she was off visiting to Les and Jackie (nb Valerie) – our best wishes go to both at this time.
Anyway we chatted with Vic or a little while – he still delights in stirring up Diane and it works every time – he was looking decidedly well and enjoying the bit of sunshine that we happened to be having at the time.
We needed to be off and said our farewells to Vic and left him to enjoy his day.

The wind was picking up and after transiting through Bell Wier Lock (with the grumpy lockie) we moored up about a half mile further along.
Diane had done the washing whilst we cruised and thought the lovely little breeze (read that at blowing a gale) would dry it quick smart – well she got it hung out, but wasn’t game to leave for fear that it would disappear – so she spent an hour holding onto it and was looking quite pleased at the end of the hour – it was all dry.
Diane had the windswept look but she was glad to have the washing dry
A walk into Egham was rewarding – we found a ship’s decanter in a charity shop for a fiver – now we have three of them. Free coffee at Waitrose, something to eat and then back to the boat.
Whilst Diane was away on her week of cruising the Med. (and leaving me on my own) there were a few shows that needed recording so that she could watch them when she returned, so we needed to start catching up on these programs – always good to do on a blowy evening.

She spent Thursday early morning (after 7am) in bed with her usual coffee and wrote a form of plan for our cruising – Thursday meant that we would be heading to Oxford, so now I knew where we were heading and head off we did at around the usual time – which is between 9am and 10am.

Sadly the weather was not as brilliant as it had been, but the sun was out at times; there were a lot more boats on the move today after the previous days windy weather. Many of the locks we have been through have been on self-service, so whilst I controlled the boat, Diane opened the sluices and watched me bobble about.
Always nice to get that first look of Windsor Castle
We found a lovely mooring just beyond the main mooring area – just outside the river-side gym – and here we plan to spend a couple of days – a planned rest day, and a chance for shopping (me thinks!).
No sooner had we finished tying up the ropes than the mooring sherriff was passing a slip of paper towards us (all filled in) and seeking some payment – bloody quick if you ask me.
Unfortunately,  I was not quick enough to count out a large amount of small change to make the payment, but I did so on Friday.
Two Queens together 

It was nice to not move for a day and a perfect early start to the weekend (well a day early) – we managed to get the shopping done (for some clothes).
More catching up on recorded programs; the winter duvet has appeared from its summer hiding place – a sure sign of what will be coming when we start heading northwards.
We found it just cold enough on Friday night to light up the Reflecs for a few hours – just to take the chill off the air, but after a couple of hours it seemed pretty well warm enough.

23 Miles, 8 Locks
YTD:  667 Miles (1073 km) , 380 Locks, 10 Tunnels, 14 Lift Bridges, 3 Swing Bridges

Total: 4462 Miles (7181 km), 3079 Locks, 122 Tunnels, 59 Lift Bridges, 170 Swing Bridges

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Along the Thames again!

Saturday 1st October to Monday 3rd October 2016

The weekend started with a dramatic change of weather – rain had set in for the day – and luckily for us our planned excursion onto the Thames, which had been set for Sunday was put back a day to Monday – the Thames Barrier was closed on Sunday and there would be no tide to cruise to Teddington and what water there would be, would be too low to pass the weirs at Richmond.

Why lucky? Well if we cruised the Thames on Sunday we would have had to get from Paddington Basin to Limehouse on Saturday – so we were saved a drenching.

As it turned out we had a lovely trip on Sunday – the sun was out shining away – we were virtually back in summer mode – this time all of the pounds were full and we had no sidetrip via the Hertford Union.

Moored up safely in Limehouse, there was a moment of contemplation when I thought of venturing out onto the slack Thames and go down and see the barrier, but to be honest we were a bit tired after the week we have had and the cruising down to Limehouse, so instead we simply relaxed and took the rest of the day off.

Monday arrived; a brilliant day; unfortunately it was my first day back at work after a week away – about 50 emails to sort through and get some of them answered before I could even think about the Thames.
We had Maggie and Paddy coming down to cruise with us, so not long before they arrive I finished in time to check the boat over – gave it the full 5 minute check as well.

We were due to depart at 12 noon, which was the same time they had given us for Sunday – we thought that this might not be correct but the lockie said that was the time to go. One other to exit with us – a yacht, but heading out to sea, so we were on our own going west.

As it was Monday; midday; working day; the clippers and all other vessel were out there going at speed and simply ignoring us, a pity that their wash didn’t ignore us and for the first hour there was a bit of up and down and rocking and rolling, but essentially there were no problems at all – it is really an enjoyable trip along this part of the river and one that we savour each time.
Coming out of Limehouse

Onwards to Tower Bridge

...and beyond

Finally, after the Westminster Bridge the waters calmed down and it was pretty well gentle for the rest of the trip, until we reached Richmond – the weirs were still raised and we couldn’t proceed – well we could if we went through the lock – the lockie informed us that it would just be 30 minutes until the weirs were raised out of the way – Diane was at the tiller so she simply winded and cruised back a bit and by the time she returned us to Richmond Weir we were set to carry on.

Fortunately the rest of the cruise was uneventful, just enjoyable and after transitting Teddington Lock, we moored up and had a cuppa, before it was time to say farewell to Maggie and Paddy, who had enjoyed their cruising today.

We settled back on the boat and just relaxed – we were on our way back north again – we will cruise along the Thames to Oxford and then head up along the south Oxford to Braunston – missing the closures along the way, with the furtherest being in the Napton flight.
We then have about a month to wander around before mooring the boat up and heading off home for a couple of months; so that will be the remainder of the year for us.

29 Miles, 14 Locks, 2 Tunnels
YTD:  644 Miles (1036 km) , 372 Locks, 10 Tunnels, 14 Lift Bridges, 3 Swing Bridges
Total: 4439 Miles (7144 km), 3071 Locks, 122 Tunnels, 59 Lift Bridges, 170 Swing Bridges

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Cruising the Med.

Sunday 18th September to Sunday 25th September 2016

This will be a brief outline of where Sam and Diane were and what they saw during the week on board whilst cruising around Balearic Sea, the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Ligurian Sea.

Signs of what was about to start - this time is was nothing stronger
than Costa beverages 

The cruised started on the Sunday afternoon in Barcelona and there was a full day at sea for them on the Monday before docking in Naples early Tuesday with a day of sightseeing in Naples and a trip to see the excavation around Pompeii and everything associated with it.

I am led to understand that there was a lot of walking around and there were at least 2 pairs of very sore feet.
What was started during Monday continued on Tuesday evening – with an unlimited drinks-package available to them on-board, the bar was beaten into submission from the Black Russian orders.
The itinerary of the cruise was based on moving between ports overnight and then the passengers had all day to explore the new location and then after a few drinks it was either off to bed to partially recover or you could party all night and recover during the following day.
Our two intrepid explorers opted for the first of these, and so on Wednesday they were off the boat to see around Rome. I think I have previously written, they narrowly missed being left behind – a bus load of other passengers a little annoyed with the 15 minute wait for the pair of them – the boot has been on the other foot previously.

Lighting candles has become a tradition - and now
it is for Diane's parents and also for Lauren

After this exhausting day and the previous few, they opted for a complete rest day and decided that the sights of Livorno would just have to wait for another time – instead the spa was being well used as well as the waiter service for their drinks – by this time they had graduated to a drink called a Mudslide – just cannot trust these two together – not mother and daughter – just two giggling girls up to no good.

By now almost fully recovered (from the walking around, maybe not from the drinking) it was a day in Cannes.
All through this cruise the weather has been fine and sunny (around 22-23C) with a bit of rain only at night.

The final in-cruise stop for them was on Friday and it was at Marseille and despite the chance to recover each night the effort was taking its toll on both of them.

I am pretty well sure that they had not done so much walking day-after-day for a very long time, but they did see so much more than they would otherwise have done if they hadn’t done the cruise.
Finally they docked back in Barcelona and had decided months ago that it would be best to spend that night there and fly back the following day.
The tapas was beckoning and the chance to see a bit more of this lovely city – which is what they have done.

By the time they arrived back in London they were exhausted but both were pretty good – there had been no accidents and they hadn’t done too much too silly – I think I can trust them to go again if they want to.

NB: I have had to sort through about 1500 photos to select a few to add into this blog.