There were two problems with blogging this route.
Firstly, the vessel for the first half of the voyage was the boat above which, to quote someone on Twitter, is SO FAKE!!!!
It's not just that it isn't a paddle steamer (the wheel rotates on its own) and the smoke stake is a prop (rotated up and down for bridges) but the design is foreign to the Thames - see this post here.
The second problem was that had already covered this part of the river on the Westminster to Hampton Court route.
However as there is always something happening on the river went along and did indeed get some blogging material. The route can be seen in the map from the operator, Turks, here:
A one way ticket cost £ 9 and stopped at the following piers:
- St Helena Pier, Richmond
- Turks Pier Kingston
- Town End Pier, Kingston
- Turks Pier, Hampton Court
There was fun at the Teddington lock when the narrow boat ahead went through the wrong lock and then dropped the boat hook, which entertained those watching:
As I said, things do happen on the water.
Entertainment for all was increased by a local boy's response to the fake smoke stacks on the Turks boat, which was to exclaim very loudly that "its got two giant d*ld*s at the front!!":
At Kingston we had to disembark one boat and get on another. This had just had a crowd of what looked like a "Made in Chelsea" party. If you haven't seen that TV show (and I haven't, only the trailers, though Sassi "loves, loves, loves it") it involves a bunch of young, beautiful and rich types with a sense of entitlement enjoying life in that part of London.
The second boat, which the MiC lot had just left, had a floor sticky with spilt drink and crew in full "thank god they're someone elses's problem now" attitude.
Anyway, it pottered on up, and we passed a few other boats (it being a cool overcast day) and a little wildlife. I don't think its a great way to go bird watching, TBH, as its the wrong time of day (dawn / dusk better) plus of course its a large, loud, human machine disturbing the water.
Finally made it to Hampton Court after an hour and three quarters just in time to see the train head back to London and realise the next was 30 minutes away.
Ah well, that's why we have a smartphone on one.