Friday, 30 July 2010

Two more locks and some more very wiggly bits of the river, where it even doubles back on itself, we have arrived at Lechlade. Before we moored up we went right to the end of the navigable bit of the river, where the Thames and Severn canal joins the river. There is a roundhouse here which is a feature of the canal.

Having turned we then moved back to halfpenny bridge and found a mooring in an ideal spot. Tonight we will go out for a meal.

Once again the phone signal here is abysmal so I can't put a picture on or get a map link, it takes about 1/2 an hour just get a page downloaded.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Thursday 28th July

The day dawned cloudy but dry. I we set off once again. Soon we were at lock woke fairly early so decided to take a walk up to the road at Newbridge, only about a ¼ mile away. The bridge itself is typical of many in this area, single track with traffic lights. There are two pubs here, one each side of the river. Both look inviting if you're looking for a meal or drink.

Soon after we set off the river starts once again to wind sharply, it also is becoming noticeably; narrower.

After Shifford lock the river's wanderings become even more tight, with some of the turns doubling back on themselves. With 60' to play with it gets interesting, specially if you meet someone on the corner.

We continued following the seemingly chaotic twists and turns for about 15 lock/miles and have chosen another secluded mooring near Kelmscott, with just a few cows as neighbours. Unfortunately the manor here isn't open to vistors today.

Once again being out in the country the phone signal is very poor, I'll try to send this but it will be touch and go.. There should have been a picture with this post but the connection is so slow the last one took 45 minutes to load so I'll save it until we get a better signal.

Moored up near Oxford

Wednesday 28th July

A glorious morning, sun shining and the river beckons. After breakfast we set off for Kings Lock only a few minutes away. The lock was set for self service so we cycled our way through and continued past Duke's cut, another entrance to the Oxford Canal, keeping left to follow the Thames. At Eynsham Lock we stopped for the services and I cycled into Eynsham to do some shopping. This is a lovely little village, very small but complete with butcher, baker, delicatessen as well a post office and Co op. Unusually the water point was at the other end of the lock so we had to stop for water after I had been to do the shopping.

The Thames continues and takes a windy path through the countryside, which is very picturesque. There are many sharp corners here, some of which are marked with buoys to show shallow water on the inside of the bends. You can usually see oncoming traffic over the low banks, but not always.

We travelled about 12 lock/miles today and are moored up near Newbridge. No phone signal so I'll send this when we get one.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

A lovely secluded spot
We got off to a good start this morning, apart from the fact that I have developed a very sore neck. I must have strained it somehow. Cath has applied a heat patch which has made things much better.
Our trip took us through 5 locks today, at Oxford we went under Osney Bridge, which is the one that stops all the big gin palaces from getting any further, we made it with about 6" to spare.
We have now moored up out in the country in a lovely secluded spot with a couple of other boats and some sheep for company.

Monday, 26 July 2010

We didn't move on today. Not planned, but this morning we discovered a leak under the kitchen sink. One of the lines taking water to the tap had developed a drip and investigation showed that the flexible pipe had failed.
Could I buy one the same? Not a chance. The thread was 6mm and it seems that all the new ones are 8mm. A new tap had to be purchased and fitted so we've decided to stay here until tomorrow. I also took the chance to try out how we can get our prescription medicines. The system is long winded, but seems to work.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

All that's left of the Abbey
Little Puffer!

Abingdon is a pretty little town on the banks of the Thames. Unusually for such a popular town the mooring here is not only free, but is for up to five days. Expecting it to be difficult to find somewhere to moor we got here about 11.30 this morning, good thing we did as it was filling up fast. We've managed to find a good spot although we can't get tele so the bike racing is off the menu.
I took a wander into town for a look around, there is good park and some nice buildings.
Henry VII didn't leave much of the Abbey when he dissolved them, all the lead and most of the stone went to build more palaces for him.
The boat in the picture is a little steamer which we have seen a couple of times now moving up and down the river. It's cute!
Our mooring is on the south side of the river in this link:,+United+Kingdom&ll=51.667981,-1.280106&spn=0.001103,0.00284&t=h&z=19

Saturday, 24 July 2010

A long but uneventful day today. We set off from Beale Park at just gone 8.00 and meandered our way up through Goring, Benson and Day's locks and started to look for a mooring but every likely looking spot had already been taken. Eventually we decided to go through the next lock, Clifton and found a nice place just past the lock. Unfortunately it's owned by the EA and they know how to charge fees! Having gone further that we had expected today we'll make Oxford easily tomorrow.
We're moored up just down from the lock on this link.,-1.211758&sspn=0.004247,0.011362&ie=UTF8&t=h&split=1&rq=1&ev=zi&radius=0.29&hq=clifton+hamdon&hnear=&ll=51.646812,-1.211758&spn=0.004247,0.011362&z=17

Friday, 23 July 2010

Whirly bird (top) and pretty bird

Up at the crack of 8.00 this morning (ok it's not that early), after breakfast we set off for Mapledurham lock.
Last night we heard a helicopter quite close and watched this thing land in a garden. Must be a banker!
After passing through the lock we found a full set of amenities and cleared out all our rubbish, took on water and emptied all our cans.
In a short time we came upon Beale Park. Cath wanted to visit this attraction so we have moored up for the night. A short walk around the perimeter brought us to the main gate where we were relieved of some coin of the realm and allowed in. this is a great day our for a family. There are a wide variety of birds and animals plus the national model boat collection. the attraction also includes a narrow railway ride, a picnic area and reasonable cafe. The annual IWA bash will be held here once again, and it is a fine venue, with entertainment for the kids thrown in.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Yesterday afternoon we said goodbye to Paul and Jacqui, we'll miss the help they have given us.
This morning I took the bike and rode up to where Maplins store is to buy a new set of walkie talkies. I got the last set of the type that I wanted in the store. When I got them home the darn things didn't work. I trogged back and explained that they wouldn't work. The chap tried all sorts to get them going to no avail so I had to have a refund.
We set off from the mooring heading for Blake's Lock and the river Thames. The lock was unmanned so we couldn't buy our Thames licence, then out onto the big river. First port of call was the large Tesco handily placed a few yards from the canal junction, then on westward to Caversham Lock where we were relieved of £128.00 for the privilege of using EA water.
Just past the lock we decided to moor up for the night and have found a nice spot on what looks like parkland just west of Caversham bridge. We had only been here 10 minutes when the heavens opened and one massive thunderstorm struck, so we count ourselves lucky.
we're moored on the south side of the river in this link,-4.064941&sspn=17.256447,46.538086&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Reading,+United+Kingdom&ll=51.468031,-0.990593&spn=0.004431,0.011362&t=h&z=17

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

A Trip through The Oricle

We had hoped to eat at the Cunning Man last night, but when we got in there and been served drinks after a 10 minute wait it turned out that there was a 50 minute wait for food so we decided to take Paul's car and go looking in Reading. Good call! We found a cracking little spot called Sweeney and Todds Pie Shop. Lovely pies, good service.
This morning we set off on the final bit of the K&A. A couple of the locks here are interesting for their weir flows making it awkward to navigate. At town lock we pushed the button for the traffic lights and got a green straight away so off we went through The Oricle. This is a fascinating experience, it's a concrete culvert through the main shopping area of Reading, the navigation is river so we were heading down stream. With the river low at the moment the flow wasn't too bad but when the river is in spate this trip becomes very interesting indeed.
We're now moored up on The Loop in Reading and will probably move onto the Thames tomorrow.
We're moored up just opposite Blake's Cottages on this link,+Reading,+Reading+RG1+5,+UK&sll=53.800651,-4.064941&sspn=17.256447,46.538086&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=28+Erleigh+Rd,+Reading+RG1+5,+United+Kingdom&ll=51.455451,-0.964437&spn=0.004432,0.011362&t=h&z=17

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Got going about 8.30 this morning, there was no point in trying earlier because the next road bridge is locked out between 08.00 and 09.30 for the rush hour traffic.
We stopped at Aldermaston for the facilities and then after an ice cream at the K&A trust cafe carried on at a steady pace. All the road bridges around here are powered, making life really easy.
We're now moored up outside The Cunning Man pub at Burghfield. Jacqui and Paul have gone into Reading for some retail therapy and we are just relaxing.
We're moored right outside the pub in this link.,-4.064941&sspn=17.256447,46.538086&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Burghfield,+Reading,+United+Kingdom&ll=51.431658,-1.022522&spn=0.002217,0.005681&t=h&z=18

Monday, 19 July 2010

Jacqui at the helm!

It's been one of those days! Set off this morning and straight away the engine spluttered and died. Luck that it happened when it did because we could still get it back to the side and fix the problem. As I suspected it was a blocked fuel filter in the lift pump. This is an occasional problem and luckily I've found a supply of these small filters. If you buy them from the Vetus dealers they're a right rip off but get them on the web and the price is much more reasonable.
Having fixed that problem we set off and at the second lock I jumped off to fill the lock and open the gates. Cath got caught out by the weir stream current and was in all sorts of trouble. Luckily I managed to get back on board and sort it out, but I had to turn the boat in a full circle to do it (there was a winding hole at the lock mouth). Later on we came across a couple of BW workboats cutting up a tree so we had to wait until they had moved their boats out of the way. It must be very frustrating for them having to stop and move when a boat comes along.
We have decided not to carry on to Aldermaston tonight and have moored up at Woolhampton where we will no doubt be BBQing tonight.
Jacqui had a go at steering the boat today, the proof is in the picture.
Here's our position tonight:,-1.181427&spn=0.002219,0.005681&t=h&z=18

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Paul at his best!

Last night we had a cracking good BBQ on the canal side here in Victoria Park. After retiring to the boat the game of Boogle was brought out and a good laugh was had by all.
We've had a lovely relaxing day is mostly sunshine, a bit of shopping, coffee and ice cream and a snooze. Janet and John from the wide beam 'J' turned up, but with a tight schedule to keep they didn't stop long and have raced off to meet son Jamie in Reading.
We will eat out tonight and set off in the morning with the intention of getting to Aldermaston.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Our intention was to get an early start this morning. Woke at 7.30, so far so good, but Paul wanted to go shopping, and then we had to throw a can and fill with water so by the time we really got going it was nearly 9.30. After that the going got quite good. this part of the K&A is very pretty and several of the locks were in our favour. Paul jumped ship at Kintbury to retrieve the car and drive it to Newbury, where he would then cycle back to meet us somewhere along our track. Kintbury is also the base for a horse drawn trip boat, a very colourful attraction for tourists.
Paul rejoined us in short order having found a free parking spot.
By about 2.30 we reached Newbury, and failing to find a mooring above the lock we decided to go through and hope that there was one available at the park, which is our favourite spot but frequently crowded. As luck would have it there one slot left when we arrived so here we are in a lovely spot, just right for a barby tonight.
we're moored up just opposite the round pond in this link.,-4.064941&sspn=17.256447,46.538086&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Newbury,+United+Kingdom&ll=51.402254,-1.32065&spn=0.002219,0.005681&t=h&z=18

Friday, 16 July 2010

The day dawned bright and breezy, and a quick look showed that there was a space available down on the wharf which is a very good spot to be. We started up and moved down so that when Paul and Jacqui arrived it would be easy to transfer all their stuff, and the fuel he's bringing. After doing some shopping in town our guests arrived in the early afternoon. Paul has decided to put the car in a spot between here and Newbury, our next destination, then cycle back and move it into Newbury, so this afternoon I loaded my bike into his car and we set off for Kintbury. The car was left in the railway station and we cycled back to Hungerford.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

After dumping rubbish and a can this morning we set of intending to get to Hungerford. This was nine locks and a few miles down the cut. The weather was very blustery making maneuvering quite tricky.One moored boat we passed looked decidedly loose on its ropes and while we were waiting for the next lock to fill we noticed that his pins had pulled out completely allowing the boat to swing right across the cut blocking everything. Every now and again we would get a sharp shower, but the sun shone for a lot of the time. The trip was easy and we found a nice mooring above the town lock.
I went into town this afternoon and was disappointed to find that the very nice delicatessen which this town once boasted has gone to the wall, and to add insult to injury the premises is now a kebab shop.
The internet connection here is very slow as it has been for several days now. I can't even get a map reference to add to this entry,because it keeps dropping out.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

With the weather forecast telling us the day will get worse we decide to continue on to Great Bedwyn. Drizzle continued to fall as we made our way down the 4 locks and found a nice vacant spot right next to the road bridge leading into the village. After lunch the rain eased off so I walked into the village where the book says there is a nice bakery. The book's right, it's small but the choice is good, particularly the lardy cakes. The pieces look huge and when the lad in front of me asked for a 1/2 piece I thought "that's more like it". but the woman put one of the large pieces into a bag and gave it to him. When I asked for a piece she said do you want a 1/2 or a whole piece? It seems that some people actually have a piece twice the size of the one I thought was already huge.
During the afternoon there were several heavy downpours but right now the sun is shining. Tomorrow it is supposed to rain again so we'll see how it goes.
We're moored up just above the bridge in the middle of this link.,-4.064941&sspn=17.256447,46.538086&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Great+Bedwyn,+Marlborough,+United+Kingdom&ll=51.378514,-1.598489&spn=0.00222,0.005681&t=h&z=18

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Last night's mooring was nice and quiet, most of the time. The neighboring house was advertising eggs for sale and several cockerels were having a competition for loudest voice, but what the heck, it's the countryside. Another problem of the location was that the water level fluctuated wildly due to the action of the locks. One minute we were beached and listing badly, the next we were floating so high the ropes were straining. As the use of the locks decreased towards evening the level stabilized.
No television so we watched an old Clint Eastwood video.
This morning we had decided to get an early start again because the weather forecast said rain later. As we set off there was a very fine rain so we decided to continue. We teamed up with 'Doyle' to go through the final three locks up to the summit level. They were in a hurry to be somewhere so we let them race ahead telling them not to wait at the next set of locks.
The rain continued intermittently as we plodded along the summit pound and through Bruce Tunnel. We had considered stopping at Crofton Top Lock because of the rain but the mooring here isn't very good so we set off down. At the next lock we caught up with Doyle so teamed up again to go down the next 5 locks to outside the Crofton pumping station where there is good mooring. Here we are now for the night
Here's our position tonight,+Marlborough,+Wiltshire+SN8,+United+Kingdom&ie=UTF8&cd=4&geocode=FcK4DwMdBD7n_w&split=0&sll=57.80792,-5.068242&sspn=0.047572,0.128059&hq=&hnear=Crofton,+Marlborough,+Wiltshire,+United+Kingdom&ll=51.358986,-1.624303&spn=0.004442,0.011362&t=h&z=17&iwloc=A

Monday, 12 July 2010

Sunday morning we went shopping in Devizes then after using the facilities at the wharf we moved off in brilliant sunshine. We thought we might come across Steve again but decided that Honeystreet would probably be too crowded to find a mooring so stopped short.
We spent Sunday night in the middle of nowhere, a lovely quiet mooring where the only drawback was that we couldn't get the back of the boat near the edge so had to leave it out getting in the way of navigation, and no signal for the internet either.
This morning we set off again fairly early and soon passed Steve's boat, he and crew were still fast asleep. I spoke to him later and it seems they had a very good night!
We've just passed through Wooten Rivers lock and decided to moor here for the night. The moorings are very good and not too crowded. The mobile broadband is very slow here so I won't upload any pictures, it would probably take all day.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

What great day was had. At about 9.30 we set off with Steve and made it to Foxhangers, the bottom of the flight by about 10.00. After a couple of locks some more of Steve's crew arrived and we were ready for the assault on the main flight. Paul and Jacqui also arrived at about this time. The weather was just about right, not too hot but still dry and warm. the flight wasn't as busy as we had feared and we weren't held up much at all. We stopped for ice cream at the usual spot near the top and then carried on into Devizes. No records were broken, but with all the help we had it was a very easy ascent. Thanks go to all who helped and all but one of them are on the attached picture.
Steve carried on plodding looking for a place with a good real ale pub and somewhere to throw tents for some of his crew while we have stayed in Devizes, moored up at the wharf where we lit a BBQ and had a fine night of it before Paul and Jacqui had to leave for home. They'll be back again next weekend for a longer stay.
Don't know what we'll do tomorrow, stay here, or shop and then go on. Decisions, decisions!
Here's our position:,-4.064941&sspn=17.256447,46.538086&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Devizes,+Wiltshire,+United+Kingdom&ll=51.355368,-1.996028&spn=0.001111,0.00284&t=h&z=19

PS it won't let me add a phot at the moment. I'll keep trying.

Friday, 9 July 2010

Paul was out for a blast on his Fazer this afternoon so decided to give us a visit. I took the opportunity to go for a ride up to the damaged lock again. They're finished! and told me that they would be ready for boats in about and hour or so.
Steve and I decided to move up to Sells Green tonight and tackle the locks in the morning. He has one crew still saying they will turn up and Paul and Jacqui may come in the morning to give us a hand.
It's been lovely hot weather today, it won't be easy doing the flight tomorrow if it's like this, but mustn't complain too much, I can stand the heat.
We're moored up just by the bridge in this map link,+Roundway,+United+Kingdom&ll=51.355321,-2.071202&spn=0.004127,0.011362&t=h&z=17

Thursday, 8 July 2010

The new lock gates in position

Yesterday I rode up to the Caen Hill flight to have a look at the work being done on lock 24. the new gates are in position, and while I watched a balance beam was fitted to one of the gates. Speaking to one of the workmen as they left the site he said they were on time so Saturday is still on.
This morning Steve Saunders on his boat Benjamin came along and moored up near us. He is also waiting for the flight to open and is expecting a crew of helpers to arrive soon. We hope to team up with him to go up the locks.,+Melksham,+Wiltshire,+United+Kingdom&ll=51.351529,-2.099848&spn=0.004442,0.011362&t=h&z=17

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

A country mooring!
Finally found a spot with internet access. Yesterday me moved off from Bradford and made our way up to near Semington. Here we decided to moor for the night out in the country. A lovely quiet spot, the only drawbacks were the lack of internet and that we were banked on one side causing the boat to tilt badly.
This morning we continued our crawl towards Devizes, only moving through 4 locks and two swing bridges as far as Seend. we're now moored up opposite the The Barge, a well known waterside pub. Here we'll stay for at least tonight and maybe longer, as there are full facilities here.This afternoon I may take the bike and go up to Caen Hill for a look see.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Bradford lower wharf late evening
We're still here in Bradford on Avon. this morning we moved up to above the lock when I noticed a space was available in a good spot. Stocked up for a week at the local Sainsburys this morning as there doesn't appear to be any easy shopping from here to Devizes. We'll plod off tomorrow and get a little closer to the locks but I don't think there's any point in crowding, it will be chaos up there when the flight opens anyway.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

We set off for Bradford on Avon this morning. Lovely weather as we plodded along a very congested canal. At Dundas aquaduct there is a water and disposal point which we availed ourselves of. After that the canal continued to be very busy with all sorts, but mostly little plastic day craft from hire points both at Dundas and Bradford. It's fun avoiding them sometimes as they seem to be determined to be in the wrong place at the wrong time!
On the way we decided to do some washing, but as the machine reached the drying stage I noticed that the engine didn't take the strain as it usually does when the drying starts. Sure enough the thing wasn't heating. Another heater element I thought, and started working out how I might obtain one now that we don't have an address to send it to.
When we reached Bradford we were very lucky to get one of the rare spots where we could get a tele picture, so while Cath settled down to watch the ladies final I got stuck into the washing machine. Bingo! it was only a broken wire easily fixed and we're back in the 21st century again.
The email from British Waterways this morning told us that Caen Hill should be open on the 10th, so that's one more day to wait.,-4.064941&sspn=17.256447,46.538086&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Bradford-on-Avon,+United+Kingdom&ll=51.342213,-2.253391&spn=0.001111,0.00284&t=h&z=19

Thursday, 1 July 2010

A tranquil last evening in Bath
We moved up form Bath today. Bath locks were not too busy, we met a few boats coming down and one pair going up. We waited at the bottom of the flight to see if we could pair with anyone but when they came along they were already paired, so we went up alone.
We're now moored at Bathampton for the night, Cath is watching the tennis.(it's the women's semis) The Google map link will show where we are.,+Bath&sll=53.800651,-4.064941&sspn=17.256447,46.538086&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Bathampton,+Bath,+Avon,+United+Kingdom&ll=51.396923,-2.318738&spn=0.004438,0.011362&t=h&z=17