Lock jams, boat jams and traffic jams with some bridges and animals.

It’s a bit different here on the upper reaches of the Thames (or should I say Isis?)  The scenery is flatter, more meadows ….

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and, a delight for me, more farm animals. (I can lay off Farmville and Smurf Village for a while and get my rural kicks for real).

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Stewart kept calling “Cow!” and I rushed for the camera – all colours, sizes and ages.

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So what has this to do with jams?  Well it was the ‘jam-prelude’.  We cruised up from Goring, enjoying the red kites and pastoral views, planning to moor at Wallingford, which has a beach by its bridge………

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We arrived to find ‘Jam 1’ – a boat jam.  Every possible mooring place was jammed full and there was no room for Calliope.  Disappointed, and hungry, as lunch was to be prepared and eaten at Wallingford, we pottered on upstream looking for somewhere, which became ‘anywhere’ to moor.

Eventually. eating as we pottered, we came under my favourite bridge so far – Clifton Hampden  – and here it is ….

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Beautiful, but will Calliope fit through those gothic arches?  Yes, a perfect squeeze from the Captain saw us pottering on.

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And this bridge became the site of ‘Jam 2’, the traffic jam.  Walking up to try out the local beer (Hook Norton) at The Barley Mow we found the bridge jammed in both directions, apparently due to an accident nearby.  How wonderful to walk across in the early evening sun and sit in the pub garden watching the jammed.  Smug? No, appreciative of our new life style.

The final jam, ‘Jam 3’, occurred at Culham Lock this morning – one of the deepest locks on the river, and today un-manned. This means self service, with quite a lot of boats gong in both directions, some of whom are not familiar with operating the locks.  One boater managed to upset the lock operating system which itself jammed (oh, Jam 4!), thus resulting in a very slow filing and emptying of the lock.

No photos I’m afraid.  It was raining a bit, and also required lots of concentration to have ropes in the right place at the right time.  But we did meet a nice man who lives on a barge at Limehouse and is cruising up river on his very pretty old motor launch, with his cat.  The cat wears a life jacket and a lead, and came with his owner onto Calliope for a cup of tea while we waited and waited for the jam to clear!

Now at Abingdon.  Want to see their bridge?

da daa!

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2 thoughts on “Lock jams, boat jams and traffic jams with some bridges and animals.

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