I am Linda and along with my husband Richard and our dog Muffin we enjoy our summers on the UK's canal system

Monday, 5 October 2015

Somewhere near Burghfield Winding Hole (River Thames/K & A Canal) – Sunday 4th October

Gosh that was a long day – two in one for us! 

We hadn’t really decided what we were going to do when we set off – another short day and do the K & A in three wet days or a long one and do the K & A in two wet days.

Goring Lock was on self service which gave me the opportunity to take some photos which I am going to bore you with at the end of this blog post!  We stopped on the bottom lock waiting and I popped up to McColls in the village to get milk and a few things.  It was very early and no one else was awake on a Sunday morning!

As we went under Gatehampton railway bridge I said that we should look out for Still Rockin and lo and behold there she was moored in the middle of nowhere.  We hooted the horn and Carol opened a window and we had a brief chat – I hope your back is better soon Carol.

I made a lasagne while we were under way with the lockie at Mapledurham commenting on the lovely smells coming out of the boat :-)

We pulled over on the Thames Promenade at Reading to let Muffin stretch his legs while we decided what to do.  It was too early for lunch so did we stay there for the night and make the most of the last day of lovely weather or go for it and start on the K & A.  We went for it!!

We went under the new £5.9 million Caversham footbridge which only opened last week.  Here are a few facts

  • More than 455 tonnes of steel used
  • A 223ft river span weighing approximately 200 tonnes and supported by 14 pairs of cables
  • A 50-tonne mast sitting 128ft above river level
  • 234 LED lights, 39 of which are colour changing, along the walkway

The pretty house at Caversham Lock
I was at the helm as we entered the canal as Richard was eating his lunch.  I always feel sad when we turn into the K & A as it means our summer is just about finished.  I put this comment on Facebook and someone said well you can use the boat in the winter but for us it’s not really an option as, quite honestly, we don’t want to do any more of the K & A than we need to and we do have a house and friends and family to catch up with.  Once we get home I will be fine.

We didn’t have to wait long at the traffic lights to go through the Reading one way system thank goodness.  I usually love going through the Oracle but it seemed very boring today with only a few people around and nothing exciting going on.

The nasty weir stream at Fobney Lock
It was then back to the K & A and her horrid locks!  We did four of them then pulled over at a place we really like not far from Burghfield Mill.  We sat out on the bank drinking tea and watching the sun go down – possibly for the last time!

We had passed Caterpillar who we share the winter mooring with at Ham Manor – she was moored at the Cunning Man – hopefully we will get there first and be able to moor up on the bank.

Tomorrow we have rain, 14 locks and 11 swing bridges to contend with, well that’s not strictly true as we will stop at Woolhampton tomorrow night.

17.91 miles
9 locks

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