There was rain overnight and the forecast wasn't very promising, but in fact the sun has been out, on and off, all day. We set off at 8am, and almost immediately went past the Anglo Welsh/Oxford Cruisers base, from where we hired our first boat, a plastic cruiser, some fifteen years ago. Neither of us recognised anything about it!
It was still early, so we had to work Pinkhill Lock ourselves, the first Thames Lock we've had to do that wasn't electrified. The paddles are raised with large wheels.
Northmoor Lock was also unmanned, and the wide plastic boat from yesterday was already inside. As there was no lock keeper around, we thought it unwise to go in with them, so worked them through before going up ourselves.
The bridge at Newbridge is anything but new, dating from the thirteenth century.
The lengths so people will go to to stop people mooring is extraordinary! In fact, there are pill boxes all along this stretch of the river, and they look very out of place.
There are some very testing bends on this stretch, some go on for such a long time that you expect to meet yourself coming back. Fortunately, when we met boats they were on the straighter sections. We got to Radcot Lock at 1pm; the lock keeper came out of his office, flipped the sign to self service, and went to lunch. We worked through ourselves. There are a couple of large topiary faces alongside the lock.
The old bridge at Radcot, the oldest on the Thames, is over the original channel, which is now used for moorings. The bridge in use is narrow and much newer.
We worked Buscott Lock ourselves, and an elderly canoeist came up with us. His trip for today was 12 miles; in the past he's canoed the Oxford Canal and the Grand Union.
There was a lock keeper at St John's Lock, where Old Father Thames is equipped with a shovel.
We continued to the end of navigation at the Inglesham Round House, where the Thames and Severn Canal used to join.
We turned, and went back through Halfpenny or Lechlade Bridge and moored up opposite the church. This last part of the Thames is in Gloucestershire, but this bank of the river is the border with Wiltshire. So with our mooring pins in Wilts, I think that means we've visited ten counties this trip (assuming you count London as a county).
25 miles, 8 locks. (275 miles, 158 locks)