Upper Thames April 2022

Thames at Cricklade
Slightly higher up on a sit on
Lunch below Castle Eaton
Cream tea Stop

On Saturday 9 April Pina ,Fiona, Jane, Rick, Keith, Anne, Brian and Tom met at Cricklade to paddle 17Km of the uppermost reaches of the River Thames. A local man assured us that we’d need to portage our craft the first 100m as the river was totally impassible, many had tried before and failed. Pina and Fiona did a recce along the Thames Path and informed us that we’d all get through although it might be a tight squeeze for the canoe. They were right and with the canoe turned on it’s side we squeezed that through too (don’t worry QM it was our own canoe). Though  a number of other trees had fallen across the river we were able to paddle past all of them with a little sawing, sliding and shimmying.

The sun shone most of the day although it was a little cool even in the sunshine. There were few other craft on the water apart from a couple of young men who launched their canoe just after us intending to paddle to London. We passed a very well behaved flock of swans, juveniles we thought, not yet in protective parent mode. We spent a few minutes practicing our ferry gliding just before stopping for lunch. Our ‘high tea’ stop, just before Lechlade, attracted a large herd of young bovine creatures all jostling for a look at the strange humans with their brightly coloured plastic things, which might be worth licking to see if they were tasty. We have to admit, removing cow slobber from our kayaks didn’t feature anywhere on our risk assessment. Landing at Lechlade we trolleyed our boats to the car park. A good paddle, a beautiful day, great company. What more could one ask for?

Anne Biffin