Last day on the canal.
Sorry, but we have to discuss the weather before proceeding any further. (This is England you know, and if you discuss nothing else, you do talk about the weather….at least that is the stereotype and it is what we have experienced). Anyway, today’s weather was significant on two counts. Firstly, at 8:45am it was MINUS one degree Celsius. COLD! Look – there was even ice on the boats:
The other significant factor is that this was our first day in England in two weeks in which it DID NOT RAIN AT ALL. Sure, yesterday was sunny – but there was a hailstorm that completely saturated some of us. But today the sun shone all day. It was cold and we were amazed at the number of people sitting outside pubs all rugged up in layers of clothing (we, too, were wearing long johns and thermal tops!), and we can only surmise that Brits are a hardier bunch than we are! You won’t find too many Kiwis sitting outside when the mercury in the thermometer has not quite reached double digits, but I guess when you don’t get a lot of sun, you make the most of it…and all the riverside pubs were busy busy busy this Sunday afternoon.
Traffic ON the water was also much more noticeable. Over the week we have met and shared locks with just half a dozen different boats and have only met a couple of boats coming the other way. Today we were constantly passing boats coming at us, at times had to wait for locks, and never used one without another companion boat. This also provided us with opportunity to take photos of passing boats – as per a reader’s request!
So here you go…..boat spotted downstream:
…getting closer now…
…and about to pass…
It’s a good thing we didn’t meet on this stretch:
We had a number of locks to pass through – in fact, in the thirty or so kilometres we went upstream, we met a lock on average every kilometre – yes that means, we’ve done sixty of them! And to remind ourselves, we photographed the process at one lock the other day (the very astute observer will work out there are two different photographers as everyone features in the pics):
If you click on the picture you will be taken to the folder and if you then click “Newer” quickly you’ll feel yourself approaching the lock, going down as the water empties out and then coming out the other side of the bridge! – sorry we can’t use slideshow-making-technology right now!)
And finally we get back to the first bridge, the one where we get to stop traffic on a main road, and even on a Sunday afternoon there were over a dozen cars in each direction and twenty-off pedestrians who had to wait for the two boats to pass:
Little kids ended the day trying to fish with a safety pin and some sausage. In our adult minds they were not really fishing, and so it was fine for them to do without a license, but how do we explain this justification to them without ruining their enjoyment of what they thought was the Real Deal?….especially in light of Mboy10’s journal entry from the other day which read: “I am kinda sad that we haven’t been fishing, but I guess we’re only obeying the law.”