During last night the temperature dropped by 14c which meant we were able to get some sleep and today we cruised with overcast skies, cool breeze and a high of 25c which was just perfect after yesterday. All the boaters we talked to today were all complaining as to how hot it got inside their boats. Even today we are still seeing a lot of people swimming in the river.
Today we travelled thirteen miles along some very rural stretches of the river which made you wonder if you were actually in England. It felt very remote with both sides of the bank thick with majestic trees. We passed many a grand home which we have video for you later on. Half way through our day we arrived at Henley Upon Thames. This is us coming down the course towards the township. The regatta was about three weeks ago but they still had a lot of stuff they were disassembling.
Actually, this photo makes it look dark and moody but it wasn’t like that at all.
This is of us just coming into Henley near the finish line.
We went for a bit of a walk around the town and it was very quaint. We came across this store where this chap was selling everything from chamber pots (used) to estate jewellery in this shop that was straight out of a Dickens story. There were many tiny rooms just jammed to the rafters with stuff. Looking back, we should have taken a photo. This picture is looking back down the course towards the finish line.
As Fraser is now a keen rower and this is the Holy Grail of rowing he went off to the museum. He came back with the story that the Oxford and Cambridge was originally raced at Henley back in the 1800’s but then moved to Putney in London. Our understanding is that teams from around the world are invited to come to the regatta here and it goes over a week.
This sign on the Henley Bridge is totally ignored by the motorists and the town is at a total quandary as what to do with the heavy traffic problem as this is the only river crossing in the town. It is often closed due to accidents and last year two large trucks collided on the bridge knocking an amount of the stonework off causing a long closure.
We thoroughly enjoyed our time here but we needed to chuff off but not before a number of people in the park where we were moored came over to see the cute little monster who had popped her head up from the back of the boat. She is very much a magnet for people to come and say hello to.
It was then back on the river for a few more hours cruising and we kept passing bigger and bigger homes. You will note that this house is elevated and the reason for this is the Thames has a very bad history of flooding. People have used the opportunity to put their boat storage under the raised houses which makes perfectly good sense.
As we were going into one of the locks this gorgeous little steam boat came out and was most obliging by tooting his horn for us. The variety of boats we are seeing is remarkable. Everything from massive pristine yoghurt pots to blow up rafts. In one lock we had an enormous yoghurt pot with snots on it, kayak, small motor boat that was hanging together with duck tape, us in our sewer tube and a commercial tourist boat.
We pulled up tonight in a place called Sonning which is where George Cloney and his wife Amal have their home on an island in the river. It was very difficult to read the sign on the mooring but on close inspection we discovered that it was a free mooring for 24 hours which was great except that we could only fit the front part of the boat onto the small wharf. That was fine, as it makes it more secure from people. It backs onto a rather nice pub and restaurant and just under the bridge and to the right is where George and Amal hang out.
Unfortunately this photo taken from the stone bridge does not show the lovely pub/restaurant where we went for a drink. Toque was an absolute hit there with people and was passed around like a rag doll. We are thinking we might pop in there for a pancake breakfast before we head off in the morning.