Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Under way again.

11 Locks 9 Miles 1 Swing bridge. Now moored above Hungerford wharf
377 locks, 518½ miles, 16 Tunnels, 9 swing bridges and 9 lift bridges since Nov 2006

With both boats now having a full crew again after the week-end it was time to pull the pins and head off to new territory. Firstly though, we had to wish Derek (Kalimera) a happy 64th birthday.
Christina also had some gifts for us in the way of 2 pots of Cornish clotted cream, yummie. Dot will have to make some scones later on.
Passing through the township of Newbury was very nice especially by the park, a lovely location.
We have been travelling through farmland and forests which looked to me like deer country and we were not disappointed with a Roe deer and 2 fawns.

They were quite a way off but I still managed to get a few pictures on maximum zoom. Not only was the scenery improving but also the locks although the crew may not agree about the winding mechanisms.

We have actually passed a couple of narrowboats on the move so we are not the only boats on the canal and one boatman commented "I know that boat". We soon realised why, as he is based at Pyrford Basin on the River Wey where 'Gypsy Rover' spent the last 3 summers.
Initially our destination for the day was going to be Kintbury where we watered and dumped rubbish. Unfortunately there were many willow tree's that had not finished shedding their seed pods and within a very short space of time both boats were absolutely smothered in the white fluffy catkins which impeded any chance of washing or painting the boats. The railway line was also only 50 or so feet away which would make sleeping difficult. After lunch the general consensus of opinion was to move on and find more suitable moorings.

Due to the shallow banks along the towpath side of the canal we were unsuccessful in finding moorings until we reached Hungerford wharf.

Here the old Granary building is now apartments and the wharf was also occupied by a family of builders who were here for 112 years. Part of their duties was also to maintain the canal from Wootton Rivers to Reading. The wharf also served an iron works, brewery as well as a thriving watercress business plus the local farmers.
As we neared Hungerford we were running parallel with the river Kennet with its clear fast flowing water. The river boasts trout, grayling and possibly salmon. I wouldn't mind dangling a line in those waters but a large sign on the river bank makes it quite clear that it's members only, no if's or buts'. Miserable beggars, I hope their hooks fall off.

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