Today we're moored in Rickmansworth, opposite a large Tesco's store, taking the opportunity while it's dry (for a change) to do a spot of boat maintenance and cleaning.
Sunday 12 September
We were up and about surprisingly early this morning and happily no-one came knocking for the advertised £10 mooring fee - phew! I'd previously raided our change jar in readiness to give someone a pile of two and five pence pieces! In New Zealand they scrapped all the small change a while ago, the lowest denomination we have is a ten cent coin - I loathe carrying the weight of coppers and those dreadfully tiny five pence pieces that are still legal tender in this country - move forward England, just round it up to the nearest ten pence!
Kim and Joe walked into Marlow for an early cup of decaffeinated coffee, managing to find a place just opening up at 1000hrs. Meanwhile I cooked a 'fry-up' breakfast, then we all mooched about as usual and were late leaving - possibly also due to the fact that Kim and I made another visit to Marlow to do a spot of girlie shopping. As I'd 'saved' £10, I bought myself a long purple (my favourite colour!) cardigan from Phase Eight, using the excuse of an early birthday present to myself! The boys had to text us to ask when we were coming back to the boat, whoops!
Always swans and mallards milling around Barry, Kim and Joe feed the ducks after breakfast
A rainbow of kayakers rowed past us - awesome!
We finally left after midday, heading only a few miles and three locks to Maidenhead, where Kim and Joe could catch a train back to Marlow for their car. We cruised leisurely along another extremely prosperous looking section of the Thames, ogling at the many superb homes to be seen ...
Leaving Marlow past the weir
Lots of families out and about enjoying the river
So many grand houses ...
and shiny boats
No credit-crunch apparent around here ...
though the clubhouse wasn't exactly thriving today
Kim and Joe, after working hard all week like much of the country, chilled for most of the journey at the bow - shame it wasn't a longer visit, but better than nothing, and so good to see them both relaxing
and the palatial 'Libertijn' that we previously moored behind in Mapledurham
Cookham Bridge ...
and badly organised boats, no room for Northern Pride in Cookham Lock, so we had to reverse back to the lock mooring and wait a while
Loving the river at an early age
A quick view of a turret from Clivedon House and the river cottage
Boulter's Lock, on the outskirts of Maidenhead, was on self-service when we arrived so I jumped off ready to work it after the boats inside left - in came Northern Pride when I noticed another three boats turning the corner and heading our way. There were two massive cruisers, and after the debacle at the last lock when we couldn't fit in, I wasn't sure if these were going to either - far too much responsibility - luckily the lock keeper arrived from his break just in the nick of time to save me from having to make a decision!
Boats of all shapes and sizes make the most of the beautiful day
Sandra on Lock-keeper duties ...
More beady eyes watch from the pub balcony - a fabulous portrayal of a sunny day on the river
Cruising nonchalantly into Maidenhead
More splendid homes on the oustkirts
We arrived in Maidenhead around 1500hrs, and found a mooring just after the railway bridge. We only had an hour or so before Kim and Joe had to catch a train back, but made the most of it with a picnic lunch on the bank. The board alongside advertised an £8 mooring fee - would anyone call to collect it or could we get away with another free night?
Maidenhead Bridge makes a striking contrast to the bright blue sky
A most graceful structure ...
Another remarkable riverside residence
Mums must be having a day off while the dads take the boys to feed the ducks
Then we walked to what we thought was the train station as marked on the Nicholson's map, knowing there were hourly trains from Maidenhead to Marlow and hoping to catch the 1635hrs. After arriving we were horrified to discover that we'd gone to Taplow Station rather than Maidenhead and there were no trains running on a Sunday! Yikes! As luck would have it though, the bloke at the station ran a taxi firm and he did them a deal of taxi to Marlow for £15 - thank goodness! Bless them, they still had to drive back to Brighton.
Another farewell for now
We spotted a poster in a window in Maidenhead for the Henley Show, held the day before
The taxi dropped Barry and I off close to Maidenhead on their way to Marlow, or so we thought - it was actually a bit of a walk from the bridge that we'd asked to be let out at! We weren't at all impressed by the town, it was totally different to the places we've recently visited and was too much of a challenge even for Barry to find anything worth photographing!!
Even the smaller archway on the path is amazing - it's staggering to imagine these being built by hand in the nineteenth century
We considered returning to Cliveden House as it's a National Trust property and we really haven't got money's worth from our annual membership, but we were tired after the excitement of the last few days, so just chilled doing some blogging and had a fairly early night.
Tomorrow we plan to be in Windsor and Barry will take the train into London to collect his son Tom, who will then be with us for almost three weeks ...