Downhill We Go – 9th August 2022

Di got up early this morning for a drink and came across these beautiful scenes of mist upon the water at Lechlade.

It was very quiet and tranquil with not a breath of wind.

Almost surreal.

Fraser arose to go for a run further up the Thames from where we could not take the boat.

He got as far as The Round House which was about a kilometer up stream. It is from this point that it would have become the Severn Canal taking you towards Gloucester which we mentioned in yesterdays blog. The round houses on the Thames and Severn Canal are former lengthsmen’s cottages built along the canal between Chalford and Lechlade in Gloucestershire. Constructed in the 1790s when the canal was built, all but one of the round houses are Grade II listed and have been restored as private dwellings. The buildings have been described as “peculiar” and “a distinctive feature of the Thames and Severn Canal’s architecture”.

Once Di had gathered herself together, we headed out towards the Round House so that she could have a look. If you look closely at the above photo you can just make out the Round House building on the far right. This is as far as we got because of the bovine judder bars. They were all gathered in this spot as this was where there was the only shade. We have another week of very warm temperatures with some predictions of +36c west of London – that is us!!!

We restraced our steps towards the township and enjoyed the ruralness of the spot along with many other like minds.

Then…..we noticed the flotilla of killer swans heading our way. There was a hire boat company just near the pub and they had about six of these behemoth creatures cruising menacingly up and down the river. The real swans don’t seem to mind them though they do look a bit out of place.

A wander back around the center of the village and then dropped off at the Riverside pub for a latte and back on the boat to head out for the day. The coolest place to be during these very hot spells is on the boat cruising as you get a bit of wind that keeps you cool. Goodness what we would do without the green one Euro umbrella we set up on the back of the boat.

To help orientate you, we have drawn a map of starting in Kidlington and heading south towards Oxford and then turning onto the upper Thames and heading out towards Lechlade. The distance is 27 miles from where we turned off to Lechlade – about 11 hours easy cruising.

Once we moored up beside the paddock we made our way back towards the pub but not until we had navigated our way around a few obstacles. We were a little concerned about the non-specific definition of what a group of people meant.

We cruised back along the river to the small hamlet of Radcot for the evening. It seemed to consist only of the Swan Hotel where we went for a drink.

It was a beautiful pub with a great beer garden and a lot of character. The floor was the original stone and had the low roof and well lived in look about it. In winter it would be very cozy and welcoming. Too hot to stay inside for a drink though, so we went outside to the beer garden to join everyone else.

On our way back to the boat we went across to this three arched bridgewhich is 13th century and the oldest surviving on the Thames. This wasn’t navigitable for us as the channel went under the newer bridge built in 1787 – but a spring chicken. The evening light was just perfect.

On our way back we negotiated  car park which we noticed had some lovely Jags parked up. It appeared a Jag Club had had a small rally and were enjoying an evening meal at the pub. This is specifically noted in our blog for our good friend Nick who is a Jag officianado.

As we got closer to the boat we noticed this herd of cattle paying particular attention to Ange. Our first concern was the pin covers being consumed again but thankfully Fraser had had the foresight not to put them on as he noticed cattle being let into our paddock whilst he was out for his run.

We had to make a few detours to be able to climb back aboard and avoid the bovines as well as their rather moist, hot droppings.

Watching TV was difficult as we were constantly being interrupted and deafened by loud moo’s right outside our window. To mention the smell and the flies they brought along with them also made our early evening just a trifle uncomfortable. Just as suddenly as they had appeared, they disappeared.


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