Friday 30th May
At last no rain!
Leamington Spa to B24 Long Itchington
6.5 locks, 10 locks
A fairly leisurely start and a day with no rain – bliss. We managed to pair up for most of the locks, so a good journey.
Approaching the staircase locks 15 & 14
A moment of excitement for us – at Fosse Wharf we passed nb Ferndale – the first boat to recognise we are fellow bloggers and say hello. Thank you and we hope to meet you properly one day!
At the last corner coming up to B24 at Long Itchington we encountered a traffic jam of four boats - a ‘moored’ boat had come adrift and was across the cut.
Apparently the ground is very soft here at the top and then like cement further down, so we were advised to moor on rings, not mooring pins, which we did – two boats behind the boat (nb Iolanthe) that accompanied us most of the way today.
We are both heading off at 10 am tomorrow to the Cuttle and Stockton Locks. We will be at Braunston tomorrow where we will meet up with nb Cleddau and hopefully the crew of nb Jannock will be meeting us all for dinner. I need to get rid of a lot of mud tomorrow!!
Once we had moored we went for a wander into Long Itchington which looks to be a lovely village with some fabulous properties both old
It is green and leafy
With a village pond
A lovely church
This looks like a church, but is called the New School House
We missed the festival!
But we found 5 of the6 pubs.
We patronised this one
If you do stop here it is a fair trog to the village centre – turn left after the village pond, go past the church and you will be rewarded with a fairly well stocked Co-op.
We have never seen 'Big Pink Lorries' before, but in this small little village we came across three of them. . You cannot miss them and the two that we came closest to had very considerate drivers. The first moved across to the middle of the road to give us good space on the fairly narrow path and the second stopped to let us across a zebra crossing with a big smile on his face. Such a pleasing change from so many motorists attitudes, so many thanks to them.
Saturday 31st May 2014
We made it!
B24 Long Itchington to Braunston Turn
9.25 miles, 13 locks
Running total since leaving Droitwich 55 miles, 111 locks.
As planned we headed off at 10am with nb Iolanthe
and had a very pleasant trip up the first 10 locks – the weather was warm and dry and the company excellent. We hope to meet you all again one day, Dave, Patsy and the dogs Jazz, Trigger and Pixie. Thank you for your help and making our lives a lot easier. We bade them farewell at the top of the Stockton flight as they had planned to stop before Calcutt. As ever things change and they didn’t, so we joined them again for the first two of the Calcutt flight – we then stopped to get diesel. I wonder if anyone leaves their rubbish here?
Heading for the last lock
before the run to Braunston. I busied myself and‘de-mudded’ the inside of the boat! The going was slow (good for me as it gave me more time!) – we have never seen to many boats on the move. At first we thought this swan was protecting his new family, but there was no hissing or aggression, so I think he was just after algae.
Soon enough we got to Braunston Turn and there was Boatwif (nb Cleddau) waving to us from the bridge – what a welcome sight.
Round the bend and lo and behold the Captain and Cleddau.
With a mooring space right behind them just big enough for us
Tea and cake were consumed, then a quick wash, brush up and change and Brenda and Graham (nb Jannock) arrived armed with a plate of savoury Chelsea buns. We are looking forward to those for lunch today. Thank you Brenda and thank you both for driving over to join us for the evening which we all enjoyed very much. And so to The Boathouse for what was a surprisingly good dinner at a very reasonable price - 2 mains for the price of one!
Having seen the amount of boat movements today I think we were very lucky to find one mooring, never mind two! I hope this good fortune follows us the rest of the way.
So the main part of this summer’s cruise begins.