Monday, 20 September 2010

Three Pound Pee

Determined to get the most out of every sunny day, and emboldened by our successes yesterday, we decided to take ourselves upstream through three locks. First off, Marlow. Which is my least favourite. Glided ourselves in well, and the lock keeper kindly threw our ropes back down to us. So it was quite stress free. Emerged on the other side, and didn't get sucked into the weirstream. Found us a lovely (free) spot near Marlow park to sit and enjoy a nice cup of tea, while we consulted our river maps.

Marlow Park MooringMarlow to Temple lock, was a nice sedate cruise in the sunshine, with no other river traffic.

Nobody hereWe got to Temple lock at lunchtime, and found it completely deserted. Self-operated it via the control panel (4 big red buttons). And from there, it's only half a mile up to the next lock (Hurley), which was manned by the time we got there.

Bridge near Temple LockTemple Lock wiki entry.

Beyond Hurley lock, there was a long wide stretch around some beautiful bends and stunning scenery, up to the ruined and restored abbey at Medmenham.

Ice Cream of the Future!Hurley Lock wiki entry.

We knew there wouldn't be time to press on much further, so we passed lots of moored up boats, and rammed the bank in an empty spot on the edge of what we presumed was a farmer's field. As soon as I'd jumped ashore and banged a pin in, a boat pulled up next to us. "Mooring fees. Five Pounds, please". "But we're just letting our dog out for a pee, and then we'll be off", We replied. "OK, that will be three pounds then please". "That's outrageous!", I stated. "You are on private property, Sir", was his reply. Sheena paid up, while I fumed silenty at the extortion. Needless to say, we won't be stopping there next time we pass through.

On relaying this tale to other boaters, it transpires that this man is well known for fleecing the unwary. The farmer who owns the field used to let people moor there for free, but this man cut a deal with him, renting the land from him. Further on down the river, on the other bank, it's still free. So that's where we'll stop next time. This man's greed, was the only bad part of the whole day. Which otherwise, was perfect.

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