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  • clivenmel

March 31st

Normal 0 false false false st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} Before we left Goring this morning we had a look at the map book just to see what was up ahead and also to see if we could find a diesel stockist somewhere.  Clive finally found a place on the outskirts of Reading and a phonecall confirmed they had diesel and coal too.  But we didn�t really want to go all the way to Reading today as we fancied stopping in Pangbourne.  Mind you, as I pointed out to Clive, we could always go get the diesel then turn round and come back to Pangbourne, as turning around on the river is a piece of cake compared to the canal � you don�t need to find a winding hole (turning circle) on the river, the Thames, is wide enough to turn a Dutch barge around, never mind a 57� narrowboat!    However in the end we didn�t go that far at all.  We found a wildlife park on the map called Beale Park and it was only about half an hours cruise from Goring, plus there were moorings provided for people visiting the park from the river, so we decided to go there.  We had a very pleasant cruise down the river and sure enough soon came across the moorings for the park.  After we had moored up we realised that we could stay for 24 hours � brilliant!   We decided to take a picnic with us as it was almost lunchtime by this time, so I made some sandwiches etc and off we went, The first thing we saw when we arrived at the park were Meerkats - I love Meerkats and Vicki, our daughter, is absolutely besotted with them!  They are sooooooooooooo cute! We had a wonderful time looking at all the birds and animals and we even went on a little train ride around the park.  One other thing that really impressed Clive was a fantastic collection of model boats and a few planes as well.  There were hundreds of them, absolutely amazing.  There was everything from Viking Long ships; tall ships, aircraft carriers, Lifeboats and even some cross channel ferries!  At one point though we had a hairy moment and I thought I had lost him for good - when he was attacked by a huge crocodile!  We bribed it with a piece of pork pie and it let him go! Needless to say I took loads of photographs which I am going to put in a separate album in the Gallery entitled Beale Park.  However not tonight � the signal is pathetic, it would take me a week to download all the pictures onto the website, so I will try and do it tomorrow, signal permitting of course � watch this space! You will remember the other day I mentioned that we required an anchor for travelling on the river.  Well we still haven't got one, we haven't found a chandlery yet that has one big enough for us.  Whilst we were in Beale Park Clive spotted this one and thought perhaps nobody would notice if he "borrowed" it - however I pointed out that I thought it was just a wee bit too big!!! We will head for Pangbourne in the morning and then possibly on to Reading later in the afternoon for the diesel and coal and then................. �����..wait and see!

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