Friday 30 August 2013

Dorchester illuminations

Arrived through Days Lock and moored in Dorchester Thursday night after a very long day - too long really with the dogs still to walk, dinner still to cook and no washing up done since after dinner the previous evening. Fell into bed early and too tired to read - my Kindle kept landing on my nose and waking me up. A good night's sleep recovered my sense of humour, especially when looking out of my window I saw NP surrounded by cattle and Sue trying to get through them to regain her boat after walking 4 dogs!
 We moved up a bit to a quieter spot out of the cattle field - much nicer to admire cattle from the other side of the River
 before heading into the dog friendly White Hart Hotel to share pizzas for lunch
 the well is inside the hotel and had goldfish swimming around down the bottom
 G picked up boxes of cakes and tarts for afternoon tea
 and we trundled back across the fields for a nice restful afternoon plus Sue grooming 4 1/2 out of 6 dogs (to be continued tomorrow).
 That's the 2 boats nestled in the background - a lovely isolated spot 
 before the sunset gave us a spectacular display along both banks - a much needed lovely day of rest - oh, apart from a mighty amount of logging and stacking of the wood we'd harvested the previous day

Whilst poor Sue had to waste a beautiful day doing business

Vic G and I tested out the advertised dog friendliness of The Greyhound in at Whitchurch on Thames with the K9 6 pack - they politely suggested we retire to their garden!!!
Tilly immediately accosted the occupants of the neighbouring table for cuddles
So Buddy accosted Vic - those Labs are such tarts
This is actually Whitchurch-on-Thames; Pangbourne is opposite and I had hoped to paddle the River Pang but was advised by the local canoeing centre that it was too shallow and narrow to be navigable even for kayaks
The bridge crossing from Pangbourne to Whitchurch is a Toll Bridge and a new bridge is under construction in parallel - should be open May 2014

Customers from the local canoe centre made sure no-one had a nap but they were having such a good time trying to swap boats, capsize, sink and generally drown each other that you had to laugh

Thursday we only moved a short way, initially, before harvesting as much wood as we could carry without turning the narras as turtle as the canoe above!

Thursday 29 August 2013

Shiplake to Pangbourne

Approaching Sonning Bridge I called Sue on her walkie talkie to point out the historic post box which it had decreed to be emptied for the working boats' post; to be emptied each day in the summer by postal workers in waders and never less than twice a week by boat in the winter months. All the times NP has been up and down this river they haven't spotted it before.
 We hung back to get a nice shot of NP coming through the bridge but a cruiser shot by and blocked the camera at the optimum angle....doh..
 waiting for the lock to turn
 entrance to the Kennet & Avon - we were meant to do it this summer but we've spent so long fannying about enjoying ourselves that we've run out of time now
 I love these boat houses - if I ever have to live on land .........

 An Alpaca farm
 our moorings  for the night; a bit snug but perfectly fine

Tuesday 27 August 2013

Hennerton Backwater

Kayak time.

After a walk to the pub for a pint and an excellent 'No Problem' Sunday lunch, Monday was time for some exercise and exploration. So a quick paddle down the Thames and a right turn down onto the Hennerton Backwater. The second I came off of the main river it was like entering a different and totally tranquil world

Now this bridge is seriously low - I reckoned that bent forward double I could just about make it without decapitating myself and, as I'm still typing this, you will realise that I did! I couldn't lay back as, with my dodgy back, I'd never be able to sit up again.
everything looks huge from down here
re-joining MR and NP after a 1 1/2 hour round trip ...perfik
Vic and G had been mighty busy whilst I was gone - yep, it's getting close to that time of year again
NP investigates alternative power sources

and the lumberjacks finish off the job
Sue took one look at all the work involved in stacking it and took to the water!
Buddy was so pleased to see her return that he tried to jump on and join her - close to sinking her in his enthusiasm
but she managed to keep him off and dock safely