London Eye to the Thames Barrier – September adventures!

Hi, my name is Maisie.

I’m 12 years old and I come from New Zealand. My family and I are travelling around the world for a year. So far we have been to China, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Paris and London.
We had to save very hard for our trip and we are good at searching for free things to do in the cities we visit. They are always interesting but sometimes I wish that we could do something really exciting… So when TPK said they could organise a boat trip for us, we were over the moon!
On the day, we got up early so we could go the Science Museum. Karen, J and G were there for a special ‘Earlybirds’ session, which is aimed at making the museum accessible to autistic children and it’s lots of fun!
We planned to have a look around the museum and meet them when they finished. Somehow we managed to miss them at the exit so we had to make a mad dash back to the station and the London Eye on our own!
J and G were there before us and managed to say hello to J’s favourite character on the southbank of the Thames….
When we got there, we realised that Karen had all the tickets!!! Mum managed to talk our way past the guards – what a superstar! We met Karen, J and G on pier 2 with a few minutes to spare. While we were saying hello, a lady called Mariana waved us over to the water’s edge. What a huge surprise!
We knew we were going for a boat ride, but we weren’t expecting a  2 hour ride on a massive jet boat. We were taking a tour with Thames Limo and the route is just amazing!
All of us kids had to put on life jackets. They were actually very comfortable. The boat was slow to start with as we went along the Thames towards the London Bridge.
Mariana explained that there are speed restrictions along this part of the Thames, but we would speed up once we passed the bridge.
I was sitting next to G. She was very nice to talk to while we were going slowly (she was a bit scared when the boat went faster!). She told me that she thought we would have an Australian accent and she thought that we were lucky not going to school.
When we got to the London Bridge Mariana took photos of us.
Then she told us to sit down and hold on. Then we took off. Wow! What a thrilling experience!
We speed along the Thames weaving and skipping over the wake of other boats. We were all squealing with delight. Once we got to Greenwich we slowed down again and Karen pointed out all the interesting buildings and features along the river!
As we passed Greenwich, our skipper called us up to the cockpit and showed us the GPS coordinates as we counted down to 0° longitude – the prime meridian of the world. Totally amazing!
After we passed Greenwich we sped up again and headed all the way out to the Thames Barriers. Karen told us about how the gates are used to stop the tidal flow from flooding London. It was very interesting.
After the gates, we sped up and headed back towards Greenwich where we were offered drinks and chippies while were going slowly for a while. I really liked the diet coke and salt and vinegar chippies that I had. Next, we went very fast again between Greenwich and London Bridge. I loved it!!!
We waved at lots of people on other boats also exploring the river.
After we passed the bridge our skipper asked if we would like to carry on up the river. Of course, we said ‘yes!’. He told us about the different buildings while we all ate our lunch. We saw the headquarters of MI6 and the Houses of Parliament.
Soon we were back at the pier saying goodbye to our new friends. We shared some small gifts from home with Karen, J and G. We chose pineapple lumps for J and G because they are famous in New Zealand. And we gave Karen some little hearts.
We had an EPIC day on the boat with our new friends! They were so kind and generous, and such amazing friends!
We will miss them heaps. But we hope they will come to New Zealand one day so we can show them our city. As we left the pier we were still buzzing!

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