The Great Escape
Today, after a trip to the town market and Joy coming back with a new dress! we left our temporary home in Staines and headed off. The river flow was noticeable, especially through bridge arches where its force was concentrated, but our little 1.5 litre diesel engine rose to the challenge and we progressed nicely, the river becoming calmer as we went.
The lock-keepers where helpful, as usual, with tips and assisting Joy with getting the bow rope on the bollards with her patented extendable rope handling device (a clothes prop!). The trip boats were out in force today and we shared a lock with one of French Bros craft.
The weather was, to say the least, peculiar with glorious sunshine one minute and rain showers the next, usually as we arrived at a lock! We were still on the Heathrow flight path and caught this picture to prove there was some blue sky but the ones below show the contrast between lock and weir.
|Old Windsor Lock||Old Windsor Weir|
After this lock we passed Windsor Great Park with notices sternly warning us against mooring or landing and a shot of the castle seemed elusive as it hid behind the trees which line the river. Eventually we succeeded and by the flag flying it appears that Her Majesty was at home.
Suitably fed and watered we continued past Windsor Racecourse, to find all moorings on the right hand bank were suspended to prevent wicked boaters getting into the Olympic rowing events at Dorney Lake without paying.
We had intended to stop for the night at Maidenhead, but the ‘free’ moorings indicated by our guidebook cost £8 and were alongside a main road.
So we took the advice of the friendly lockie at Boulter’s Lock (who spotted our fish symbol on the window and bellowed Halleluiah! after us) and we continued in the drizzle down through the wooded Cliveden Reach (Cliveden House now a hotel above us) and Cookham Lock to Bourne End.
Here we moored outside the excellent and unusual Bounty pub (access only by river) where the smell of food tempted us in and we enjoyed a good home-cooked meal of lasagne for me and a ‘Hawaiian’ burger for Joy (burger with cheese and pineapple), washed down with a couple of pints of Mutiny, what else!