We had to wait to leave Whitchurch Lock as the Contractors were just moving the working barges into a better position. As we travelled under the bridge you could see the new supporting steel work and the new beams of the roadway.
Further down stream is the Alpaca farm but they did not seem to have as many as last year. On the wall protecting the railway could be seen where the floods had been, at least 6ft higher than current levels..
Caversham is the next area with its magnificent houses, the lower one was featured in a TV program and I was told that the owners son was seen jumping from the balcony into the river on its completion.
We had a cheery wave from Bloggers Nb. Derwent 6 as we motored into the town.
Just before the bridge there were lots of Swans and Geese on the park and landing stage and a little further on we spotted the Black Swan and the snake crossing the river between our two boats. Just managed to capture him at the top of the frame, not an easy job whilst steering and getting the camera out. The duck in the bottom left picture, we believe is a Gadwall.
We called at Tesco Supermarket just before the Kennet and Avon Canal entrance and opposite was this intriguing house boat and dinghy. Tesco is very popular with boaters as you can wheel your trolley right to the boat, so no lugging heavy bottles and groceries for miles. We then returned up river to the Better Boating Yard to fill up with diesel at 99p/ltr.
Continuing down river we managed to find a mooring spot near to Sonning Lock, initially we breasted up with Autumn Years until the boat in front left and then we moved forward. The Lock was very busy with at one time some 7 boats waiting to come up. Later we walked into the lovely village of Sonning. It has some interesting cottages and houses and this old Telephone Box now houses a Defibrillator, a sign of the times no doubt. The Lodge Gate is to Bishops Close a private residence built 4-5 years ago. It won several awards but looks a bit incongruous on the hilltop as it is a square glass structure. Sonning Bridge has had a series of lights inset into the pathway to make it safer for pedestrians in the dark nights and these were installed as part of the Queens Jubilee celebrations. The marker stone in the centre of the bridge is the boundary of Oxfordshire and Berkshire, it is possible to stand with a foot in both counties
On our way back to the boat we just had time to pop into the Lock Cafe for an ice-cream sitting in the garden which had been under water in the recent floods.