A blog about our big adventure on our narrowboat 'Amarantine'

Thursday, 30 June 2011

The Thames!!!!!!

Look what time we passed Big Ben - this was AM!!

Beautiful Tower Bridge

The most exciting and looked forward to part of our journey arrived Friday 24th June, the only bit not too welcome was the early start, 5.15am!! Our trip up the tidal river Thames from Limehouse to Teddington. Our friends Jennie and Ian came to stay with us the night before so we could do the trip together. We got up with no problem, Jennie and Ian hadn’t been to sleep, something about Ken’s snoring kept being bandied around. Anyway, we set off through the big lock at 5.15am, it was a bit fresh at this time in the morning as you can imagine. The river is huge and straight away you see the tower bridge, it is the first one you go under. Jennie and I sat at the front snapping away with our cameras, while Ken and Ian did the man thing at the back with the tiller and the radio. Ian did get to speak to London Vessel Traffic Service, which tickled him pink. We got into Teddington lock four hours after we set off. A very smooth, exciting enjoyable four hours with no hiccups or problems.

We saw Jennie and Ian off on the bus at Teddington, then got back on the boat and cruised to Hampton, past Hampton Court Palace. I missed getting any pictures as was making a drink at the time.

We had to make arrangements to go home for a couple of days. So that our boat was safe and we could get good connections we cruised up to Shepperton. This so far was one of the nicest moorings we have had. It was a shame we were actually not going to be there with the boat. Turned out to be the hottest two days of the year as well. On the Sunday we set off early for the train station, which was a two and a half mile walk. Then we waited an hour for the train, which took an hour. Then went for the tube, oh bloody hell, the tube was closed for the day!!!!! We ended up having to get two buses across London, what a nightmare. We missed our connection and had to get a slow train which took forever. Eventually after over 5 hours we landed in Peterborough and got a lift home. We had been invited to a BBQ in the afternoon, so went along there and had a lovely afternoon in the blazing sun with our friends and some of their family who were visiting from Australia.

Monday an even hotter day we traveled to Barnsley to lay our friend to rest. Everything went as well as could be expected but a very, very sad day. We then had to travel back to Shepperton to collect our boat and carry on with our holiday. I am pleased to say the trains, tube and connections all worked fantastically and we even got back to the boat three hours earlier than expected. We were completely worn out, but happy to be back.

Max was very pleased to see us. He had been spoiled rotten by our friends while we were away, thank you John, Mary, Trisha and Pete.

We were chomping at the bit to move off again. We got as far as Staines and the heavens opened and there was a huge thunder storm. We just got inside before the rain fell.

Yesterday we moved on and are now at Windsor, next to Queenie’s house, the castle. Its really nice here, so I think we will stay a couple of days. We saw the changing of the guard this morning, but, I didn’t have my camera and forgot to press record on my phone video, what a plonker I am.

I had been told to seek out the famous fish and chip shop in Windsor, however, there are about a hundred fish and chips shops here. Anyway, we have had chips with loads of salt and vinegar and a wooden fork, only thing missing was the newspaper, they just don’t taste the same nowadays.

I apologise for the lack of pictures, but the signal is so dodgy here that they wouldn't upload. I will put lots of pictures on as soon as I get a signal. Don't know how Queenie puts up with it, she must want fast broadband for her Facebook!!!

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