Sunday, 21 May 2017

VERY SWALLOWS AND AMAZON





The Thames at Chertsey, Surrey. 


Took our Canadian canoe trip Swallows and Amazons style, up - or down - the River Thames (UK) along Chertsey Meads, Surrey, around 40 miles North of Hampshire, our abode. Bonkers. Brilliant! As you can see, t'was: 'Get the machete out, I'm coming in!'  The most bonkers trip ever.
     Back in his student days, Husband and his mate owned a Canadian canoe and paddled stretches of the Thames in Weybridge, south-ish of Chertsey. Says they never did anything quite this barmy, although they used to collect firewood in their canoe to heat their riverside house in the depths of winter. Not fun, although very backwoods frontiers men-ish!

     Although some of these pics in the neck of my old woods (I was brought up in Sunbury, a village nearby), with their willow trees and lily pads appear idyllic, bucolic, it is deceptive. A busy motorway runs right next to the river at one point (you can see the cars through the trees at the perimeter) and Heathrow airport is a spit away, so the air traffic, which due to its close proximity - taking off or landing - flies fairly low, and, particularly at this time of year, frequently.

     That said, we thoroughly enjoyed it. Husband had found this new - to us - stretch on the interweb. Easy to launch for the canoe. and boat rollers from the main river up to the Swallows and Amazon stretch. So, a decent car park close to the river, a sandy beach to launch canoe onto main river. Past a heavily watered weir - hard paddling to steer clear of the currents - and onto a calm stretch of water towards the historically listed stone arch and bridge over the old boat rollers. Stop for coffee! Then onwards, past bucolic scenery, heavy motorway noise and aircraft, then the Swallows ambience. Amazing. The channel grew very narrow at our turn-around point, where both banks were covered in stinging nettles. Bugger that, let's head back for lunch at the rollers.
     Lovely. What fun!
     From the sublime to the ridiculous. The drive back through the traffic there was pretty horrendous, but didn't last, because approaching Hampshire, it eased off. Back in Hampshire, it's LOVELY! But we loved this trip! Superb!

The rollers (the central tunnel)

The motorway is behind the trees in the background
The Hubs

Bonkers!


Rusty tressle bridge




Back to civilization!


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