Thursday, 21 April 2011

On to Cliveden Deep

(posted by Cath)

A very hot day.

We overslept a bit, so got up fairly quickly when we woke, and got started.  After not a lot of miles we came to a big Tesco, right by the river - where I stopped to get supplies.  One of the problems with supermarkets that you don't know is spending far too long looking for things that you need - this wasn't helped by me not having a shopping list, although I did have a clear idea of what the meals would be for the next couple of days.  I was wandering up and down the aisles muttering to remind myself of what I needed to buy.  By the time I got to the checkout I had been in the shop for a long time.  "Is that man something to do with you?" asked the woman at the checkout.  I looked up to see a very fed up Alan, with Charlie, standing at the window, looking in.

Today we were going through the 'super rich' areas, superb houses, massive boathouses with very shiny boats in them.  At one point I found myself staggered that any houses could have quite such big boats moored at the end of the garden, when I realised that the homes were moored at the end of the gardens.

I spent some time doing the washing, with our "Fisher Price" twin tub washing machine.  When we are out for a couple of weeks I try  to wash every week or so, when we've got fine weather.  Today I managed to break the shower pump again - meaning that instead of spinning the washing, and draining the tub into the shower tray I had to empty into a bucket and chuck it over the side.  A woman in a small boat coming out of the lock as I emptied once again through the side hatch shouted, "Have you just pee'd in that bucket?" Embarrassed, I explained that I was trying to do the washing.

Kevin & Lauren
Over the last couple of days we have seen a man and his young daughter canoeing much of the same route as us, last night they camped at Mapledurham lock, and they were away before us this morning.  We finally got to chat to them today.  Kevin and Lauren are canoeing from Cricklade to Chertsey.  Kevin said that the first parts of the journey were quite difficult, even in the canoe they were scrapping the bottom at times.  They have booked camp sites, sometimes at locks, which I didn't realise was possible.  They don't have Internet, but their position is being tracked on Google maps aprs - - as Kevin is a radio amateur.  Lauren will be six next week - the week before I was six I had my tonsils out - I think I'd much rather have done what they are doing.

Huge numbers of these structures were being erected
We went through Henley, where there were the scale of prepar- ations for the regatta was quite remark- able.  The river is very wide at this famous place.

Medmenham Abbey
Later we passed Medmen- ham Abbey, former home of the notorious Francis Dashwood, founder of the Hellfire Club.

Weir at Marlow
As we progress further down the Thames the volume of wsater passing the weirs at each lock gets more impressive, although it is difficult to capture the power of the river in a photo.

Bat over boat.
We moored beneath the trees in the beautiful Cliveden Deep, Charlie thinks that this is the very best place he's been ever.  We lit the barbecue and opened a bottle of wine.

Batin flight as captured by David.
We sat beneath the trees, eating our meal, until the sun set, and the bats began to loop low over the boat.  David even managed to photograph one of them.

Mapledurham to Cliveden Deep
Miles: 27.2, Locks:10

Total Miles: 231.2, Total Locks:115

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