Friday, 27 September 2013

Canal still ahead of us but .....QISMA is facing in the direction opposite to the direction we were facing before

It doesn't happen very often and I can't just think of the last time it did but today, with miles and miles of the K&A still in front of us we reached Great Bedwyn and turned the boat. We have to be back in Newbury by Thursday so that I can go off to collect the car. We can then start to move, via Midhurst, where LJ is lodging, to Michael and Jay's wedding which is two weeks away.  We do have the chance of getting out for a few days when we get back but start our caretaking duty at the end of October. So we really are near the end of what has been a fantastic year's cruising. More of that later.

Today, as we left Hungerford we went through Hungerford Marsh Lock which is on my most hated list. Why? I'm going to tell you. First off, the lock is in between two fields with cows in. Then, there is a swing bridge over the lock. Finally, when going up, the far gates will not stay closed so with two on the boat you are disadvantaged. Alistair had to make an appearance on top, which is very rare.

That complete, you reach Cobbler's Lock, where this poor cottage stands almost derelict. I expect 80% of boaters look at it and plan the renovation. Or do you think that's a conservative estimate?

So on to Great Bedwyn. Almost always hard to find a mooring but our River Nene training came into play. In front of us we have an almost derelict cruiser with a chap and three dogs on. Behind us a mock spanish galleon wide beam in slightly better condition though the roof is completely covered in rubbish to a depth of almost a foot. Gas bottles and other worldly goods lying on the towpath Neither displaying a licence. The tow path was, until I scooped, full of dog poo. The owners of said boats stood and watched us struggle to get near enough to jump to the bank - that didn't happen but we did get close enough to get the trusty Nene gangway into play.  

I know this all sounds very unappealing but Great Bedwyn is such a lovely village! And we're off to our third pub this week!!,