Thursday 14th July; Lechlade to Newbridge
I am now a full week behind with the blog. Only some of it can be blamed on lack of Internet signal. I must have been reading too many other blogs instead…..
We had no cattle-related incidents before we left, and enjoyed watching the young ones all glossy and beautiful in the sunshine.
While they were over the far side of the meadows Meg enjoyed a game of ball. As long as dogs aren’t running around the cattle here seem to take no interest in them, but she is a bit nervous of them and we keep her away from them or on the lead to be on the safe side. She was most alarmed when one licked the porthole as she was lying on the bed.
We had to go shopping in the town so set off to the bridge, past the boat where the chap who collects the mooring fee lives. Apparently he had to work hard to persuade the farmer to let him have an electric fence. The farmer couldn’t see why he wanted one, but I imagine he would soon see the point if a cow ate some washing or got tangled in the clothes airer.
Lechlade is a most attractive town, but spoilt by the busy roads running through the centre. We knew there was a butcher so were able to get some good local free-range meat. It is a shame it is so far past the supermarket, as I am sure some boaters would just use the closer option. We set off downstream at 10.30. This time Dave had a chat with Old Father Thames at St John’s lock and I took the obligatory photo.
Most of the locks were on self-service, but not all. The lockie on duty at Grafton used to know part of the canal network well. When he was a young lad his father carried coal from the East Midlands coalfields to the Worcester Porcelain factory, and in the summer holidays he used to help him.
Parts of the river are very winding with a lot of tall reeds, and trees overhanging the channel, and occasionally Dave couldn’t quite see where the river went next.
We wanted to eat at the Maybush at Newbridge, which was recommended by one of the lockies, so we moored on the field upstream of the bridge. The things that look like mooring posts along here are actually fishing pegs, though boaters are welcome to moor to them if they feel they are suitable. The large mown field is used for weddings, and they can put large marquees up and still leave plenty of room for boats and walkers on the Thames Path. The green fishing peg in the picture is one that isn’t suitable for mooring as it slopes towards the water. Dave put in a mooring pin after I took the photo.
We had an excellent meal in the Maybush. It’s a bit more expensive than we normally go for, but for once we actually got around to going out for our wedding anniversary so pushed the boat out a bit. We asked where they source their meat before we ordered, and it’s all local and free range. Dave said he couldn’t remember ever having had such a good steak. Highly recommended.
Apart from a slight altercation with some willow foliage on a tight bend we had a lovely day in the sunshine.
14 miles, 6 locks