We slipped from our moorings at 8:30 this morning amid a very slight drizzle which cleared up quite quickly. The overcast conditions lasted all day but it made for very atmospheric cruise.
We soon arrived at Wallingford – the scene of our worst flood experience on the Thames in 2008 when we had to moor up on the visitor moorings (right of the picture) for a week and a half. On that occasion the river level rose 5 1/2 feet overnight!
Today’s journey has been much more relaxed as the river is now wider and the water flow is (generally) slower. We’re glad we’re going downstream though as some of the weirs are still fierce and they affect the approaches to the locks for boats coming upstream.
The wildlife has put on a good show for us today – this Red Kite was one of quite a few we saw.
Another riverside “love it or hate it” !
We absolutely loved today’s journey – we had the river to ourselves and the autumn colours were magnificent (even better had the sun been out!)
The approach to Pangbourne is very nice. There’s a whole stretch of these magnificent Edwardian villas – all in a wonderful state of repair.
More wildlife – this time cormorants “sunning” themselves?
A look backwards at the weir as we leave Mapledurham Lock – we’re glad to be surfing with the flow rather than fighting it!
Not the biggest house on the river bank but certainly an attractive one. This one is on our approach to Caversham and Reading.
Our journey came to an end at 1 o’clock when we moored up in the centre of Reading – advice we took from a fellow boater who we chatted to in one of the locks yesterday. It’s not something we’d have thought about doing but it seems fine.
Our mooring this evening, right next to Reading Gaol and with one of the towns iconic buildings – “The Blade” in the background. The avenue of trees and the green fenced area behind the boat is the Oscar Wilde Memorial Garden – not sure he would be particularly impressed with its position quite so close to the place of his incarceration and consequent fatal decline!
Despite there being 101 places to eat within a stones’ throw of us, we eating on board this evening – might pop out for a drink later though! (just to celebrate a brilliant day on the River Thames)