Thursday, 7 September 2017

Back to Abingdon

Back to where we were over 2 months ago.   But first we had a couple of nights in Wallingford.
There are still a lot of boats around and a mooring space was not straightforward.   We had to moor on the town side at first in the only available space.  However the bank is far too high for us and my getting on and off would have been very undignified....if possible.   Barney was none too impressed either, but as he had had a long time without being able to get ashore he made a superhuman effort and threw himself up.   We then sat eyeing a hire boat on the other bank for about half an hour whilst we considered if he was going to move or not.   Eventually he did and a smart bit of reversing allowed us to moor with a slightly lower bank.  We were then moored alongside the park area and the swimming pool.   When we were here on the way down it was during the excessively hot weather and the pool was a godsend.  Now it is closed and the temperature somewhat different!
The view of Wallingford from our mooring.
On Wednesday Geoff and I actually went walking together with Barney, a rare occurrence.  We walked the Thames path up to Benson.  I had walked this in the extreme heat with my sister-in-law Edith and thought I would never make it.  Today was much easier and the goal at the end which was the Waterfront cafe at Benson was much less crowded.  We were able to site in the comfortable chairs overlooking the river and enjoy our coffee........and was still warm enough to do that.
Looking from the weir at Benson with our goal in the distance.
Today, Thursday we set off at the crack of sparrows as we had over 12 miles to go.

Waiting for the Benson lock,  sun just awake
The sun was kind to us for nearly 3 hours before the weather took a nose dive.   We had the river to ourselves apart from 3 canoeists until well after 9 o`clock.

At Abingdon there was space on the moorings downstream of the bridge so decided to moor there for a change.   The moorings here are very civilised, the notice says they are provided free for our enjoyment and we may stay for 5 days.   Great pity some of the other places don`t do the same.   We don`t object to those that charge £5 a night but some places are more.   Marlow is the highest we have encountered at £12 a night.   There is space there on the free moorings but only for about 3 boats and it is, understandably, 24 hours only.   The paying ones are free during the day time so they tend to get filled up with local boats out for the day, hence our not being able to moor in Marlow on our way back upstream.

Total distance:12.81 miles 
Elapsed time:4h33m44s 
Average speed:2.81 mph (3.68 lock/mph) 

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