CSCC Reports 2006: Culham to Wallingford, 26 November 2006

In Richard's words: Great trip - pity about the pub.

Owing to limited hours of daylight Chris, Dan Jones, Sarah, Wade, Kirsty, Bridget, Dan Halpern, Richard Szcepanski, Frank, Jenny, David and Julia Mannering made a very early start for this section of the Thames Source to Sea programme and were all on the water at Culham by 10.30. After going through a torrential downpour on the drive to Culham we were in bright sunshine for most of the day, and some people even caught the sun on their faces. There were a few very light showers accompanied by several impressive rainbows.

There proved to be only 3 locks (not 6 as had been feared) on this section but we had to portage 2 of them. The river was high (at least 150mm over the level of the landing stages) and fast flowing which gave us a lot of assistance. At the lunch stop most of the group paddled up the narrow, winding and tree infested River Thame to Dorchester on Thames against a strong current. Kirsty, Sarah and Wade, not in the most manoeuvrable of boats, took this tricky excursion in their stride without serious mishap.

David and Julia were in a purple Topo Duo this time with David cutting a dash in a colour co-ordinated purple hat.

The total distance covered, including the excursion to Dorchester, was about 12 miles and we were off the water at Wallingford at 3.00 pm.

For future reference there are good car parks at Culham lock (free) and Wallingford (pay and display although the machine was out of order on this occasion). We were able to drive right up to Culham lock to unload. There is a toilet at Culham lock (not obvious) and a toilet block also in the car park at Wallingford but I'm not sure if it was open.

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All images ©2006 CSCC. Pictures by Richard S and Chris S.