We pulled pins at 10am again and filled up with water at Cleeve Lock. Richard needed oil filters so we stopped at Sheridan Marine (he didn’t get what he wanted). Just before the marina I noticed a lot of Egyptian geese on the bank. I’ve seen more and more on the river recently and have discovered the following taken from The Guardian back in May
“After struggling to survive Britain's cold winters for more than 300 years the Egyptian goose, is undergoing a population explosion. Once confined to a small area of Norfolk the goose is now abundant across Greater London and surrounding counties. The birds are regarded as pests in their native environment in Africa and some are shot because they munch crops, but being grass eaters they are not good to eat. So far there are no reports that the species is a nuisance here. However there is a fear that they might out compete or cross breed with native species but again there is no evidence yet that they are doing so. The fact they nest in holes in trees and also rabbit burrows makes them a potential rival to the Shelduck but so far that does not seem to be issue either. Canada geese show that an explosion in population can be a problem in parks and on farms but is the Egyptian goose going to be another?”
Before Day’s Lock we went under Poohsticks bridge or Little Wittenham Bridge where the World Pooh Sticks Championships take place in the spring. As a Pooh lover I really ought to go!
Just after Day’s Lock we passed a field of Charolais cattle and I had seen a photo of one in my Pearson’s guide so, me being me, had to find out more and discovered that a Mr and Mrs Andrew White, of Worth Matravers, Dorchester are top breeders – now did you know that??
As we approached Abingdon we came across a dredger in the middle of the river. From a distance we could see that it was displaying two white diamonds on one side and two red balls on the other. We were debating which side to go when we saw a nice white arrow on a blue background directing us to the right!
|At the Crown and Thistle|
There was just enough room for both boats above Abingdon Bridge on the meadow and who should we see there but Epiphany with Fiona and John. Well that’s not strictly true as we knew they were there and had already arranged to have a meal out together. It is exactly one year and thirteen days since we last met up with them!! We went on board Epiphany and has a cuppa with them and then, along with Steve and Diane, toddled off to the Nags Head for a meal. However when we got there it was fully booked – 6.30pm on a Wednesday evening! We wandered up towards the town and decided to go give our custom to the Crown and Thistle. We sat out in the courtyard as we, of course, had to take Muffin along. We had very nice meals – Fi and John shared a Banofee Alaska and I had a white chocolate cheesecake for pudding which were both lovely. The others had puds too but they weren’t as spectacular!
It was then back to our respective boats and an early night for us.