Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Henley and the Thames

Contrary to expectations we did not leave Reading on Tuesday. We discovered that in the ruins of Reading Abbey, adjacent to our mooring, they were performing "The Taming of the Shrew" . We decided to stay over for a day and have a little culture. So Tuesday was a leisurely stroll round the shops where we bought the new camera Geoff has been ogling for a while, and a pleasant coffee break in one of the many coffee places that line the canal. We had a voucher for Pizza Express which gave us one meal fee so decided to eat here early and then go to the show.

However it was somewhat of a disappointment. Their interpretation of the play had it set in the wild west which would have been absolutely fine if we could have understood what they were saying. The combination of Shakespeare's prose and pseudo American accents meant that we could only understand about 1 word in 4. I fell asleep during the first half, Geoff had to keep nudging me awake. At half time I went back to the boat and Geoff persevered but it didn't improve. Such a pity (and a waste on money as the tickets were not cheap).

Wednesday saw us departing for the mighty Thames. After the first lock where the keeper had not yet arrived Geoff had a really easy time of it. Even that lock had the easy wheels to turn. After the K&A I think it is quite welcome. We are back to beautifully tended lock gardens.

We stopped to water etc at just before Shiplake lock and continued down past some very large houses with their gardens rolling down to the river.

The river was just like a millpond, not a breath of wind....bliss

En route we passed a strange looking vessel which we thought was fishing but concluded they were perhaps putting fish in.......

We had been undecided about how far to go but there seemed to be lots of mooring space at Henley so we decided to stop. This is the first time we have had to pay to moor but it looked so nice we decided to bite the bullet. You can moor free until 3pm and then it is £8 to stay overnight. The little man who apparently used to come and collect the money is no longer here and you pay at the parking meters in the car park. Big notices advise of £500 fee if you don't pay....................................

We had a wander round the town before lunch and a gentle pint (for Geoff!) at the Angel where we could sit right on the water. Whilst in town we stumbled upon this group of Masai looking warriers?

On the way back we checked out the opening times of the boatyard for diesel and we also checked the price.....£1.10p. When I expressed incredulity at the price I was told " it is cheaper than the garage!!!"

Back at Petroc I rang the next boatyard at Bourne End to see what their price was and it is only 93p so we shall be going there.

During the afternoon we had a visit from Dave Greenfly which was very pleasant.

The mooring here is quite delightful and we have been able to sit out all evening and have not only our pre dinner aperitif but also our supper. We sat and watched all the boats going up and down, most of them gently but a couple seemed determined to show how fast their gas guzzlers could go. The only small blot on the horizon was the blaring music from the narrowboat moored behind us. Geoff did go over and ask very politely if they could turn it down a little but was not well received!!

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