Tuesday 9 May 2023

Reading by Bus

As we cannot usefully move the boat we opted today to take advantage of our bus pass and a half hourly service from just up the road along the main A4.

We left the boat at10:25 and arrived at the bus stop with 6 minutes to spare. The bus arrived on time - the driver was very friendly but did look suspiciously at our Wiltshire pass (this is, of course Berkshire!)

The route took kin a detour through Theale, along its old High Street - there are several convenience shops here of we run short of food - and then briefly into a business and industrial estate. Just after crossing the M4 we also called at a retail park with a large Sainsbury, IKEA and several our typical brands.

The bus followed the A4 almost into the centre of Reading. We alighted close to the station and the top end of the main shopping area.

First stop was M and S bus despite a determine search, Christine could not find the right size, shape, price and colour for what she wanted.

The Body Shop was much more successful and she had a real bonus with voucher that she had been keeping for a while.

We entered the well known Oracle Shopping Centre and unsuccessfully ventured into a few. The range of shop types seems to be very focussed - a lot of food and drink outlets with much of the rest being fashion. 

We reached the river and saw the fast section we came up a few days ago. It was certainly moving very swiftly. We spotted one option for lunch if the the place that Christine had picked out from the internet did not work out.

On the way we called at John Lewis where we did find a new kettle for the boat - the one we bought when the boat was new is now coming to the end of its useful life! This one is slightly small which will actually be an advantage.

Alas, the 'all you can eat buffet' was not open for lunch (we later discovered that we could have identified that on Google if we had thought it an issue, especially as it promotes itself as a family friendly place to eat. So it was ack down  to the riverside to Comptoir Libanais. We had a good, if not spectacular, lunch with nothing to complain about. (That sounds as if we wanted to have a moan, not at all!) The food distinctive flavours which we assume are Lebanese in origin, if adapted for a UK chain.

Back up through the shopping area to find the return bus. We made a mistake of not checking closely enough about stops as the place where we though it would be was not. However, as we neared a stop that we did know was where the 1 route stops we saw the bus arrive and almost depart but the driver was very kind and waited for us.

As we alighted the bus back at Tyle Mill, the promised thunder storm announced its arrival with a great flash followed by a rather close thunder clap! Thankfully the rain largely held off, other than a light drizzle, until just as we reached the boat.

The storm passed quite quickly and there was even a brief spell of sunshine. However, around 6.30 thunder, lightning and a real downpour returned with a vengeance. There seems little chance of a respite in the fast river streams for a while yet.

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