Thursday 16th July 2015
Great Bedwyn to Hungerford
5 miles, 10 locks
Before we set off this morning Monty and I went to the Post Office to get the papers and I noticed a couple of things I had not seen the day before – the end wall of the Post Office. It really is quite spectacular.
And then this – the question was ‘do I or don’t I’?
I did, but stepped back smartly just in case! Unfortunately nothing happened!
For us it was a long day and we are definitely into the part of the Kennet and Avon where the locks are sufficiently far apart that you mostly have to get back on board, but not far enough to make a cup of tea and have time to drink it. Some of the locks have the remains of swing bridges that were used by pedestrians to cross the locks. They used to be fairly common, but there is only one left today.
There are some fairly big boats around here
Sometimes the only way across is to clamber the top gates - not something I am that comfortable with on this canal. A few years ago I used to do it without a second thought.......!
Despite the distance between locks Monty and I did walk between quite a lot. Monty has this need to explore any alternative route - here he was just waiting to see if we could go this way - the answer was 'No'!
Some of the tow path was very overgrown, but definitely passable
This is a very sad looking derelict lock cottage at Cobblers Lock (no 72). I am sure it was once a happy family home, but will it every be salvaged I wonder?
Our last but one lock of the day was Hungerford Marsh lock with the one remaining swing bridge. It proved hard to open, but we got there in the end. Monty had gone across it to Boatwif and The Captain whilst I remained on the tow path side.
Talk about a confused dog - he decided he would come back to me, so headed off along the bridge only to find it did not take him where he expected to be. He turned around and tried again and then again before he gave up. The look of utter confusion on his face was something to behold!
On our route today we saw this bed of wild flowers - a real riot of colour.
Also quite a few poppies - one of my favourite flowers
Someone was smiling on us today as we both managed to get moorings in Hungerford on the town wharf. Cleddau the first arrow and we are in the distance. To our surprise we discovered they were
48 hour moorings, so the decision was made to make the most of such good moorings and stay for an extra day.
Friday started for me with a good clean through and then a shower followed by a 'visitation'. The owner of Gloriana ) see below who is a Hungerford resident had told us on Thursday evening that he was expecting around 60 children from the local primary school who were studying canals to make a visit to his boat on Friday around 10am.
The Cleddau crew and ourselves extended the invitation to our boats, so the children all got to visit 3 boats instead of one. We are all quite different and certainly very different from the working boat they had previously visited in Gloucester. It was a pleasure to welcome them on board. Some questions were deeper than others - one little boy asked me if we had bananas on board - I had to tell him that we hadn't!! They were well behaved and well controlled by the various teachers, teaching assistants and parents and I hope we helped with their education and that they had an enjoyable morning.
The afternoon was spent 'mooching' along Hungerford High Street - there are many 'moochable' shops. The final destination was Tesco for a much needed stock up shop.
The day ended with a slightly breezy tow path dinner - I could not lay my hands on my camera, but the Captain took some, so hopefully they will follow in due course. Tomorrow we will be off again after a very enjoyable and much needed day off.