End of the Navigatable Thames – 8th August 2022

A little addition to yesterday evenings blog. Having been moored up for about an hour, a large herd of cattle turned up beside the boat looking at us in a menacing manner.

At first we couldn’t work it out until it dawned on us that we had moored up where they access the river for their water. Our option was to move or stand our ground. We would have prefered to move but as they would not move, we were unable to remove our pegs from the ground and shuffle off.

Now here we must apologise to Wolfgang as his brightly coloured sock that we put over the top of the mooring pins so people can see them and not trip over, was masterfully removed by one of the bovines. It then decided to chew it up and sequester all of it into it’s mouth which then put us into panic mode as we don’t think cloth in a cows gut is a good thing. Thankfully, it didn’t like the flavour and spat it out. Unfortunately, even after a wash, there is apparent damage to the sock – we owe you a beer, Wolfgang.

Morning saw us catching up with Fraser’s mum in Melbourne via skype having our morning coffee in the front of the boat enjoying the very warm morning. Amazing what you can do from a narrowboat in the wilds of the UK – bit of artistic licence there.

The cows had started to congregate again, so we decided to hightail it before they they got agro.

We only had eight miles to do to get us to the end of the navigatable Thames but as it narrows it gets extremely windy and busy with lots of boats, swimmers, paddle boarders etc.

We were constantly on the horn as there were so many blind corners…….

and thankfully we did not meet this Big Bertha on one of them.

Due to the low water levels and silt build up we could only get to Halfpenny Bridge and then wind around and go back to find a mooring.

By now the day was getting pretty hot so we sheltered inside the boat until it cooled down a little before we went out foraging for some groceries. We are back in the county of Gloucestershire and skirting around the southern Cotswolds and you can see the stone which is prevalent in the buildings in the town of Lechlade.  Lechlade is the highest town to which the River Thames is navigable by relatively large craft including narrowboats. It is possible to travel by river or walk the Thames Path from here to London. Indeed, in the early eighteenth century goods unloaded in Bristol were transported to Gloucester, carried overland to Lechlade and sent down the Thames to London. You may remember that when we were on the Sharpness canal, we mentioned about them trying to reopen the canal from there to Lechlade.

You may also be very surprised to know that we didn’t get to the Riverside Pub tonight as just way too hot and bothered plus we wanted to watch the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth games.

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