Thursday 8 May 2014

One good turn gets you nowhere.

Time to leave Pewsey. 
We REALLY needed a pump out and we had done a recce and found the DIY pump out situated in a totally ridiculous place just before the bridge, really just before a bridge hole.   As we stood with ropes in hands to move off to the water point and pump out landing. there was a boat coming.  Now we have hardly seen any boats moving in our direction but here was one coming exactly now.  David called to the captain, “Do you need water?”

This is the box holding the pump in the foreground.  No way it will reach our stern.
“Oh yes and a pump out too”  bad luck on us as we would have to wait now, but we were not in any hurry, the only hurry we were in was to get a pump out done, I was becoming scared to go in the bathroom.  
We had a DIY card £15 that David had brought way back in Hungerford from a café there.  The young couple were on her fathers boat and were in a hurry to catch a train back to London.  They wound out all the hose first and connected it to the boat, then she turned to David who was there “Looking & Learning” and asked “Well who do we pay for this?”   
Oh my word this young couple had no idea that a pre paid card was necessary to operate the pump.  David took pity on them and sold them his card.  Yes Reader, he sold the card to enable us to have the most urgent pump out we have ever needed. How sweet of him.  (Those were not quite the words I used however.)

When he got back onboard WaL I did ask him why, after all he is never that nice.  It was because the CART pump’s hose was about half the length needed to reach our boat outlet. Now as you may remember WaL is 70ft and unfortunately the pump out place out is located right at the back, there was no way it could have reached ours unless we parked right in the bridge hole and blocked the canal, quiet of traffic or not, he didn’t want to do that.  

So on we went on our way towards Honeystreet where there is also a wharf for Pump outs, water which we needed and diesel too.
A good run there. Sunny.

I rarely drive but here is a five minute wonder.
These made David feel at home.

Not a lot of windows on this one.
The countryside has opened up and there are great views now

These things overhead adding to the peace all the time.
As we came towards the wharf and David did a FAB bit of parallel parking to get in.  The gate opened and a young chap comes along, “Sorry we are closed!!!!!!!” I was taken aback somewhat, a business closed on a working day…..? Unheard of where we come from.  Leaving us in a fix. Even with pleading he was unmoved,  but directed us to the water point at the pub at Honeystreet proper for water.

So around the corner to water up and a boat parked on the water point.  There was me stood holding the middle rope and our stern adrift off the wooden dock when the captain gets out the boat with rubbish bags and a dog on a lead. “You could put that rope through this ring to save holding it” he says to me!!  But you are not going to be long are you as you are on a water point?  He says “We are just having a rest here as we have been cruising for 3.5 hours”  and off he went leaving me totally nonplussed. Reader we haven’t yet arrived at a water point yet where there hasn’t been a boat moored on it, I find it staggering but this canal seems to have a different culture. Well finally he returned without finding a rubbish point which we both advised him was in Pewsey the next village along so he did take the hint and leave. So we got onto one of the three spaces available for a longer boat, yes you have guessed it, all the boats there from yesterday were still there showing no signs of moving.

Red wine was needed and kettle chips before we popped onto our bikes and visited two villages a stone throw apart and their two Saxon dated churches, (there were a couple of visits behind secluded bushes too…..!)

Alton Barnes  Church, Saxon. origins. A gem.
The gallery.
The Nave
The roof.
Not completely lost, with his crinkly map.
Beautiful stone house in the village.
With this imposing stone wall surrounding it.
Home quickly when we saw the black clouds fast approaching, it bucketed down, again. We saw this overhead.

Terrific double rainbow over The Bridge Inn at Honeystreet.

Supper was Kedgeree, fruit salad and ginger crunch cake.

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