Sunday 8th October 2017
Leamington Spa to the Saltisford Arm
3.25 miles, 2 locks
Just a short trip on a day that dawned dry and bright and ended up very pleasantly warm. The first task after setting off was to try and discover what the red round thing was that had been bobbing about near the boat since we arrived a couple of days ago. Chris edged the bow slowly forward and I was then able to lean over and grab it with the boat hook. It took a few attempts, but I was eventually successful and it did turn out as we had expected it to -
nothing more exciting than a mop handle. I wonder if like Trigger's broom from Only Fools and Horses, someone somewhere has a mop they have owned for 20 years that has had a succession of new heads and handles? This handle is no longer a threat to navigation and is residing in a refuse bin to end its days in landfill.
Just the 2 Cape locks to do today. Chris had called ahead to the Saltisford Canal Centre to see if they could accommodate us for a couple of nights - the answer was yes, but could we please arrive after 13:30. Time had to be 'wasted' en route. Water was taken on board at the water point below the locks, but there was still more time to spare. What should we do? Head up the locks was the first thing on the agenda
As Chris was approaching the top lock I had gone ahead to open it for him and sadly I was not quick enough to stop a man who was enjoying a drink at the pub from opening the gate on the far side (we only need one gate open to enter and exit these big locks). Not wanting to seem ungrateful for his help, I politely said thank you and assumed he would stay and shut it, but no. Off he went to finish his drink and upped and left leaving me to walk round to close it once Chris was in! I will keep my eye on gongoozlers in future!
The paddle at the top end was not made any easier to operate as someone had parked their pushchair neatly right under the winding mechanism! The baby and family were enjoying lunch in the sun on the other side of the canal and if they noticed me moving the pushchair out of the way they were polite enough not to say anything.
So here we were up above the locks and still with time to spare, so what else could we do, but moor up and have a drink! No contest really!
Suitably refreshed we made our way to the Canal Centre
creeping slowly in past moored boats on either side and a hole where nb Hadar resides, when she is at home.
to a mooring a bit further down than when we were here in August.
The site manager is very welcoming and helped us moor - we were interrupting his painting these new pergolas and very smart they look too.
I think this 'nest' is another new edition. It is made from plastic tubing and I think it is very effective
but what a sad sign of the times that they have to add a warning notice not to swing on the sculpture!
Monday 9th October
Another day off – this is becoming a rather good habit! There were, of course, jobs to be done, but the main task of the day was to walk up the hill to Priory Park – another bit of Monty Heaven.
and the Methodist Church on the right
At the top there is a roundabout - turn left and it is not long before you arrive at our destination
Trees abounded which means squirrels - he saw one (or thought he did) in every tree which meant rushing hither and thither in ever decreasing circles
What else does a self respecting dog do on a large expanse of grass but chase his quoit which frequently ends up apparently stuck on the back of his head - not so - he is a past master at removing it with his front paws.
It is a great open space and worth a visit even if you don't have a dog to walk.
The autumn colours are becoming more and more apparent