Friday 25 April 2014

Foot down going nowhere

We left Newbury fairly early (for me) to get to Kintbury the next water point.  David refused to pop into the boat wharf right opposite us who was charging £2 for water. (We later heard from another boater that this wharf had been charging £4 the previous week). Maybe that's true. 

Last nights mooring, a widebeam did get through with ease.

A vehicle going over the very noisy road.

So on and around the bend through the town to where the canal really narrows and nice period buildings are on both sides.  The towpath disappears (I was on foot here for a very good reason) into a passage between some very old buildings and crosses over a road, then you rejoin the towpath over a footbridge.  The town lock is on an island, the instructions are to get the lock ready in advance of your vessel’s arrival.  This is because of the speed of the water flowing between the narrowed canal plus a river section joining the canal immediately before the lock, marvellous fun for those of us of a nervous disposition.  As there was no one about to ask if the water races through this section as it was today everyday or was it due to the heavy rainfall still only 24 hours ago.  David is thinking about the return journey, it will be white water rafting me thinks.  Totally fine as I will be on foot. 

Victoria Park.
Cargo lifty thin
Warehouse conversion.

         Well I easily got the gate opened on my side but the gate had only the thinnest of planks to walk over to the other side should he have wished it opened.  I took an executive decision that he wouldn’t as frankly there wasn’t the slightest chance of me crossing that gate.  My mother would have gone mad.

Captain beginning to raise the revs.
Attractive old buildings in the centre.
Nice old bridge
Through the twitten to the canal.
The other twitten.
        So for the blokey types among you, David later reported to me that he had to whack up the Revs to 2500 to get through the narrows and even then he felt he was hardly moving, I understand that is high.   
Tiny boat in the distance is him...
Footbridge over the river entering.
Almost there, arm flapping started about here.
Hardy boaters will be pleased to know there was no gate bumping.

What a man eh?

When he did come into view and see only the one gate open there was a moment of arm flapping, I responded in some hand signals of my own and he seemed to accept that.

Next was the swing bridge, a lady was already there from a boat coming down so we called to one another and opened it for Wal who was the nearest, actually her boat wasn’t really even in sight….  But I always enjoy making posh ladies in Range Rovers wait as was the case today.
Unusual roof to this boat, Turf!!
Masterful extension to a tiny Victorian cottage.
Hard to photo, they just disappear all the time.
There are a whole series of Pill Boxes all along this way, a line in the sand so to speak from the 2nd WW had the enemy invaded, this would have slowed down their progress.  I believe they are protected or listed now.  Pity one isn’t put back to its original state for children to see, or me.

Whole series of these

Bit of a long haul to Kintbury, 8 locks none of them friendly. One gate I simply couldn’t budge to close after D had exited when an elderly man with a little old dog on a lead popped up from somewhere and said he would close it!!!  I said to him that its really heavy and we do it together, he maybe was a touch affronted and urged me to go around to the other gate and close that one, he insisted he would do this one,  so I did as I was bid, Bish Bash Bosh he had it shut in the blink of an eye. Viva the old folks I say.  Turns out he was a Fisherman's Bailiff (whatever that is) and closes it each day for ladies.  He cast a disparaging eye at David sat on the boat doing nothing too.

Superman in the disguise as a Fisherman's Bailiff. 
Finally into Kintbury, I was pretty tired and almost kissed the passing man who requested I left the last gate open as he was coming through.  Hurrah. 
Watered up, rubbish out, David cooked me a bacon, avocado and tomato sandwich he gave me the remainder of the champagne which was nice as there usually isn’t any remainder. 

Nap followed, a long one.


  1. Flasher given a disparaging look, surely not?
    X Lesley

  2. Remainder of champagne? I find that hard to believe! Keep up with the blogging, sooo entertaining. Look forward to catching up with you sometime. Louise xx

  3. Ha! I got the same reaction when I made similar executive decisions about only working one side of the lock. Some of those K and A locks are a tad un-nerving. I think I should've stayed with you. We could've held hands. Forget work. This is much more important. :)

  4. Lesley,
    It was definitely a filthy look, there was a muttering along the lines of "It's always the women left to do this......"

  5. Louise,
    I can't you how much I wish you were here with us, oh what laughs would be had. Been to Tesco today to stock up on champagne, it's on offer. Seemed rude not to. Minimum requirement of this trip.

  6. Amanda,
    Leave work immediately, David will pay your salary.