Thursday, August 15, 2013

Crop Circle Central

We had a fantastic night last night in the Royal Oak at Wootton Rivers, it was right  up there with one of the best pubs we have visited in the UK.  We had a good chat with a couple of guys who were in their late 40s - they have been mates since uni but are very busy with work and family etc, so once a year they have a catch up and walk together.  This year's walk was only a small one, Newbury to Devizes, but they have walked in Nepal and Kilimanjaro!  They reckon its a really good way to catch up by just walking together with no outside influences, apart from the pub at night.  I thought it was rather a neat way of catching up.

So to today ... it was raining pretty hard so I donned the wet weather gear for the first time in months. At the first lock I found another chap (who we were chatting to in the pub last night) ... they had moored in the pound between the locks overnight, but it had drained out, so they had been awake since 5.00 am. They were woken by bottles falling out of the cupboard and smashing on the floor and, as it was a hire boat and they were newbies, they were panicking because they thought it would turn turtle.

So once again our lazy start of 11.00 am paid off ... the early birds had sorted the problem, the pound was well up.  However, they were still stuck on the bank, so I told them to reverse rather than try and go forward (then the stern will swing into the deep water) ...voila, they were off!   We shared the one lock with them then they pulled over to have hot showers as they were all freezing.

We pulled up at Pewsey Wharf to fill with water and empty the nasties.  The gap looked a bit tight so I gave it a go - with the combination of the bow thruster, throttle and rudder the good ship went in sideways.  The lady on the boat behind said that my manoeuvering was either good luck or skill ... the latter, I replied (modestly!)  Elaine just told me I was a nob!

I didn't take many pics as it was raining quite heavily and I didn't want to get the super zoom camera
wet - it was also very humid.  We passed Picked Hill, of which the guide book said the field terracing is a relic of celtic and medieval!

We then passed a flying boat ...

We were held up for a a little bit when this chap winded in front of us, no probs ... no hurry.

We were going past the Barge Inn at Honey Street, when we thought that it looked like such an interesting pub we should investigate further.  There was also a great spot outside, so this is where we stopped this afternoon.  

Here we are moored up.

We can see the white horse from our mooring, 201 years old!

We took the dogs for an evening walk then popped into the pub to check it out ...

It was certainly different to most English country pubs.  We thought it was more like an Aussie country pub ... then Elaine pointed at the mantle piece .... bugger me, there was a didgeridoo!

The clientele was different to an Aussie country pub ... the pig shooters had been replaced by ageing hippies and ferals - apparently the pub is the Crop Circle HQ of the universe!

There is a campsite adjoined to the pub.  The sign said no loud music after 23.00, unless its Led Zeppelin ... sounds good to me.


  1. You were very lucky to get a mooring at Honey Street, the last time we were there it was chock-a-block full of what I refer to as ‘community boats’ with no spaces what-so-ever! Keep blogging, we love it!

    1. Hi Carol
      I don't know what it is but we always seem to find a mooring, even on the Thames and in Paddo..perhaps they all bugger off when they here we are on the way!