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

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