After a wander through Reading in search of a possible vacuum cleaner answer (to no avail) and a few other necessary tools on Thursday we checked in with Rob and Trish for last minute advice before making the decision to head into the Thames River on Saturday. Their advice (which was good and always worth listening to) was to go for a walk on Friday and check out the last lock on the K&A, the mouth of the Kennet as it enters the Thames and then up to the first lock we will encounter (Caversham Lock) for a chat to the lockkeeper re conditions and accessing a license for the Thames.
This was a great walk and well worth the effort as it prepared us for what lay ahead and took away some of the anxiety. Despite there being yellow stream increasing warnings on the Thames it was pretty gentle and we were poised for the next step of the adventure.
On our return we checked out Tesco’s for a few essential supplies (price of beer, wine, strawberries etc!) and also Homebase where we got an excellent deal on a Jamie Oliver BBQ. Bob had been after a BBQ for ages and he somehow negotiated this one for a third its original price – red hot bargain indeed!!!!
As we were carefully stowing Jamie away in his new home our neighbour came a-calling and invited us over for a drink. Rude to refuse really!!!!
Tim and Linda (on Poppy widebeam) proved a fountain of knowledge and really good fun to boot. They are about to have their baby shipped to Belgium to begin their dream of cruising Europe. This being also a dream of ours we spent a couple of hours just chatting about all things boating. We are still in awe of how welcoming and friendly people are and willing to share their knowledge and experience. Makes this journey so much more pleasurable and less scary!!
Despite being kept awake by Friday night revellers arguing their way back along the towpath by our boat in the wee small hours, we awoke ready to face the excitement that will be cruising the Thames River!!!!
Goodbye Kennet and Avon – we’ve had an amazing time with you!!!!!