River Rats.

One of the best things about Marlow, the town Alastair’s parents live in, is that it is right on the River Thames.

Yesterday, when the sun finally appeared, Alastair and I took Bertie the dog for a walk along the river.

Being somewhat confined to our camp, when in Sierra Leone, the opportunity to go for a walk outdoors is something I no longer take for granted, and the British countryside rarely disappoints.

Unfortunately, while enjoying the walk I forgot to keep a keen eye for stingy nettles.

This harmless looking plant delivers an instantaneous sting to the skin when touched, and the irritation seems to linger forever.  I was stung within the first few minutes but Alastair found me some Doc Leaf which eases the pain when rubbed onto the skin.  Not only are stingy nettles painful, but they’re everywhere in the summertime.  However, if you’re brave enough to harvest some, they make a very nice tea.

Bertie didn’t have any problem with the stingy nettles…

but the sheep proved to be a different story.

After jumping through the fence and chasing herds of sheep, Alastair managed to track Bertie down and give him a stern talking to.

Even with Bertie frightening the entire sheep population, it was a beautiful day in the neighborhood.

Today, Al’s parents, Paddy and Sue, took us for a canoe ride up the river for a picnic lunch.

And a bit of tree climbing.

Even with a bit of rain, we had another great day on the River Thames.

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