Well this is probably my penultimate posting from the Kennet and Avon Canal.
Today we bravely ventured along the last part of the canal system and are within cooee of the Thames River. But first things first…
We returned from Venice to our boat on Saturday and were so happy to see her so well cared for by our boat sitters, Chris and Sue. Good to see that they also had a great time and spotted lots of birdlife!!!!
Only one mishap on the way home – we were so tired travelling back that we left Bob’s camera in the train station waiting room and were only alerted to the fact by an announcement over the train. We got it back and still caught the train!!!
We spent the next couple of days on domestic duties – getting in supplies and tackling the mounting washing pile using our new acquisition – a twin tub washer. Worked a treat but wet days make for very slow drying.
A quick trip back to Tyle Mill to fill up and empty out and then back to Theale to decide when to leave.
A chance knock on the boat with a request for assistance with her bike tyre by a lovely Swiss girl and Bob met the couple in the boat moored beside us – Rob and Trish. and the decision was made that as long as there were no further alerts from the Canal and River Trust, we would tackle the trip to Reading on Wednesday (today).
It was still wet and miserable but not raining heavily so we started out – very well and easily. The flow was fast in parts where the canal joins and leaves the River Kennet, and the first couple of locks were easy. But when we came to Lock 105 – Fobney Lock – things got hairy for Bron. The pick up point after the lock was on a mesh platform right where the river re-entered and was gushing through underneath. Rob suggested I get back on the boat in the lock but the water had already started to drop and the only option was to climb down the ladder. For those that know Bron this was a nightmare. But she did it!!!!
Along the way we also meet a young lad and his mother who were riding from Bristol to London raising money for Prostate Cancer UK. Young Jake helped us with the lock after he and his mother, Chrissie, had their photo taken beside Celtic Maid and the lock. If anyone would like to follow their progress or make a donation the contacts are www.facebook.com/bristoltolondon and www.justgiving.co.uk/cyclebristoltolondon
Our last part of the journey led us through the centre of Reading past The Oracle – a very busy shopping and restaurant precinct. Bob handled this curvy section very well while Bron took lots of photos and we finally moored right next to the prison!!!
We think we might stay here for a day and maybe get a vacuum cleaner before heading out to the Thames on Friday.
Have to sincerely thank Rob and Trish for all their help with this section – we both agree we wouldn’t have wanted to do it on our own!
What an exciting day!!!!!!! A few photos added to the gallery…