After renewing our acquaintance with Corrie, the miller at Mapledurham, we set off for the final leg of our trip up to Wallingford. We reached Cleve lock around one o’clock and decided to moor up for lunch, using an isolated pile just above the lock, with the mud weight to hold the stern in place.
Unlike Sally, who his happy to swim in the river at any opportunity, I am not so keen. However it was so warm that after lunch even I decided to go for a swim.
After a cooling swim we hauled up the mud weight, untied from the pile and continued up river.
As we approached Wallingford, we were delighted to see our friend Robert and some of his family calling and waving from the river bank. It was around mid-afternoon when we passed under Wallingford bridge and it became apparent that we were going to struggle to find anywhere to moor. All the town moorings on both sides of the river were full and it was unlikely that anyone would be moving on at that time of day. We carried on slowly, hoping to find a space amongst the trees that now line the banks above the town. All the convenient spots were already taken, so having turned around we went back to a place where we thought we might fit if we cleared some of the over-hanging willows.
We managed to get the bow close enough to tie to a tree and then started clearing branches so we could bring in the stern. At one stage it must have looked as if we were trying to camouflage Daybreak, so covered was she in willow branches and leaves. We eventually managed to get the stern in close enough to tie up to another tree and were then able to get the gangplank down. Local walkers on the towpath, passing us as we cleared branches, had been both very interested in the history of Daybreak, and happy that they could again have at least a glimpse of the river as they walked alongside it! After Sally and Ali had enjoyed more canoeing and swimming, and Mike had returned to Marlow to pick up the car, we all walked into town. Saying goodbye to our cruising friends who were heading back home, Sally and I enjoyed reacquainting ourselves with lovely Wallingford.