It’s nearly time for the off!
We are at Wargrave, close to Henley on Thames, the temple of rowing! We are receiving wonderful hospitality. The Bushnell Marina is putting us up on the Thames in an enchanting setting: lots of boats and all the right tools for those last-minute jobs on the boat (which got here in perfect condition) that always prove necessary.
There are a lot of us here. There’s Massimo the photographer and Nicola the director of the documentary to be filmed about our journey, with his assistant Alessandro. The journey here was a long one: a stop-off at a motorway service station in a tent in the freezing cold, the snow when crossing the Alps; and then on to Calais. So many miles – and all in a car running on LPG.
The Channel is already scaring me a bit: those currents and tides are really strong.
The last two days have been interesting. We’ve been working and meeting some nice people: Paddy Poltock, Roland’s brother, Simon, Rosie, Sam and many more besides. The English countryside is lovely. It’s well looked-after. You can tell that a lot of care is given to the environment. The river produces well-being. It makes me think of so many missed opportunities in Italy.
I’m writing this from the tent. Three of us sleep in it. It’s chilly but the sky is clear.
Life is great. We are eating on what little cash we have left and the hospitality of our friends. Still a few hours to go, then we’re off!
Our best wishes to all of you.