Thursday, 10 August 2017

Cookham in the rain

 The trip down to Cookham was fine but we knew the forecast for Wednesday was dire so wanted somewhere congenial (and cheap!) to stay over a couple of days.   We found a delightful mooring at Cookham.  A large grassed area with mooring rings and access to fields with long grass which Barney loves.  He may not be a swimming Labrador but he loves to roll in long wet grass.  At first we thought we had dies and gone to heaven as there was no mention of any charge for mooring.......Ha!   We then found another notice which said it was from £5...  Aah well we have accepted the fact now that is the name of the game on the Thames.  In the event the lady who came round to collect only relieved us of £6 each night. The added plus was a footpath and a short walk into Cookham.  Here there were 5 or pubs, 3 garages, 2 wedding shops, various other shops but no general store!  There was just a small convenience store in one of the garages which was sufficient for our needs for a couple of days.

Wednesday dawned as promised and was a wet, drear day.  It was not a complete write off as Giles arrived by pre-arrangement to go out to lunch.   We had fully perused all the pubs menus on line and discarded those that seemed too expensive.   We decided on the Old Swan Upper which was the furthest walk but well worth it.  We had a tapas type lunch there which was quite delicious.  Geoffrey even topped it off with their chocolate dessert which was to die for....I had to help him eat it and I don`t normally like gooey chocolate puddings.

Thursday was a much better day

Our morning visitors
We saw no need to rush as we only planned to go as far as Maidenhead so Barney had his long walk before we set off just before 10am.    It then seems that the whole world had decided to move, there were boats going every this way and that.   This necessitated a wait at both the locks.

Packed in at Boulters Lock
The locks themselves don`t take that long to empty and carry us down, but it takes a while to pack it full of boats!

Big houses again on this stretch
Having taken advice we ignored the moorings about the two bridges and carried on through.  Just after the railway bridge there was a long stretch of mooring with hardly anyone there...it was only noon.

It says £8 for 24 hours but no one has been round yet!

Nice enough place but strangely difficult for Barney and I to get on and off.  There is a very narrow strip of concrete then a 2ft wall.  The strip is not wide enough for Barney to land on and then tackle the wall so he stands on the boat and thinks about it for a long time, planning his strategy,  and then does an almighty leap over the whole thing.   My getting on and off is somewhat more undignified as it necessitates sitting on the ground!

Walking for Barney is good once I had sussed out that the Private notice at the end of the lane was not quite true.   A big multi-barred gate in front of a big house announces that it is private and access to the house only.  However there is space for a pedestrian at the side and by walking through you can find a very small Public Footpath notice tucked away in the hedge.   I only found it thanks to a local walker.  You can go two ways, one to fields and one is actually the continuation of the Thames path which leads to the next lock.

Unfortunately it is a long walk into town, but Geoff tackled it as he wanted some new trousers......what an incentive!


Total distance:3.65 miles 
Elapsed time:2h41m27s 
Locks:2
Bridges:2
Average speed:1.36 mph (2.10 lock/mph) 


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