Wednesday, 14 February 2007

Washing machine ???

15 locks / 5 miles

We eventually got our courier parcel about 10am this morning and the courier had been trying to deliver it to the gift shop which is part of the marina complex.
I pointed out that the parcel was addressed to Narrowboat “Gypsy Rover” and we were only moored about 15 feet from the shop.
Words fail me!

As soon as we had the contents of the parcel on board and disposed of the rubbish we pulled the pins and were away. HOORAY.

The first 5 locks were nothing new as we had been through them on several occasions before. When we got to Winkwell we stopped at Middlesex & Herts boats for another tank of calor gas and a long throw windlass for Dot.

Next on the list was the swing bridge next to the boatyard. Dot took great delight in closing the road and operating the bridge to let me through.
When we were talking to Maffi on n/b “Milly M” last week he had warned us about a fallen tree just past bridge 145 which somebody had trimmed back just enough for boats to pass but it was a very tight squeeze.
After this was Sewer Lock 58 which as the name implies is alongside a sewerage plant. The discharge from the plant is pumped straight into the canal with the effect that you see in one of the accompanying photos. One way of getting the boat washed I suppose. At least the odour in the air was quite pleasant, not what you would expect from such a place.

At the Rising Sun lock we got into conversation with 2 gentlemen who turned out to be father & son. The son was on holiday from Brisbane, Australia and due to fly home tomorrow.
They were making the most of the fine weather and having a stroll along the canal with a few pub stops along the way. As we were getting ready to leave the lock the elderly gentleman said he had never travelled on a narrowboat on the canal so who are we to deny such a gentle hint. We gave him a ride up to the next lock and he loved it. Such a small gesture but one I am sure will give him long lasting memories.

As we had left Apsley a day behind schedule we pressed on even though we had decided from the beginning that we wouldn’t be busting our boilers and breaking any records. Even though we had travelled further than planned we moored up at Berkhamstead which was one of our scheduled stop over points. We are now moored above lock 53 alongside a Waitrose supermarket on British Waterways 14 day moorings which also gives us easy access to the main shopping street.
We will sleep well tonight.

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