Monday, September 17, 2012

Much nicer traveling companions

Twenty-One Locks. Yes, Twenty-one.

 Before we got properly underway today, we pulled into a little side canal, where there was a canal shop. We hoped to buy a decent canal map. They didn't have any, and we had to turn around in a winding hole to get out. As we pulled up to the winding hole, whom did we see, but Napoleon, my nemesis from yesterday -- well, his boat, anyway. We beat a hasty retreat, lest he decide to get underway. We could have used a buddy boat today, but not that one.

Well, you know what Burns said about the best laid plans of Turtles and men, right?  We had plans to go to  Stratford – and Robin decided he would like to see Warwick Castle – but somehow we went right through Warwick (that was on our Sunday supermarket search) without going to see the castle, and now it turns out that going to Stratford requires a really, really big detour. I estimate that it would take us two days to get there and another two to get back to the Warwick Ring. I’m thinking maybe we’ll try to get there by coach from somewhere along the route or else leave it for another visit. 

We did climb the Hatton Lock flight today, all twenty-one locks of it, one right after another, slogging, slogging. In fact, we did two of the locks twice, because we had to backtrack, first thing this morning, to get back to the supermarket. So -- TWENTY-THREE LOCKS! At about Lock  #18, David said he had lost the will to live. It was a sad thing to see. He did recover, though, and so did I, when we saw the last lock of the flight behind us, instead of in front of us. We are now (5 p.m. or thereabouts) moving gracefully along a long stretch of lockless canal. We somehow missed the pub where we were planning to stop for dinner, so we’re playing it by ear. It’s England. This is a canal. There will be pubs. Aha! We are in Kingswood Junction. There are bridges, goats, and a public mooring place.  Ah, but is there a pub? There must be, because all of a sudden we’re driving backwards, presumably  toward the public mooring. Ah, yes. We’re right across the bridge from Tom o’ the Wood.


And now we are sitting in comfortable chairs inside Tom o' the Wood, having a drink before dinner.
Tom o' the Wood, Kingswood Junction
It is warm and cozy in here, which feels good after the last hour or two. There's rather a biting wind now, although the day as a whole  was sunny and warm. Yesterday's threat of rain turned out to be without substance, by the way. Oh, no. It did rain -- but not until we were moored and settled in for the night, playing rummy in the saloon.


Dinner is over now. I had a mushroom pizza, without cheese (good), and both the men had Bubble and Squeak which I must say was the most elegant bubble and squeak I have ever seen. It was served in the modern style, everything stacked on everything else, and the top layer was some sort of tomato sauce. I could see a rasher of bacon, and then, when Robin cut into his meal, I saw that there was a fried egg under the tomato sauce. I'll stick with the pizza, I think.

Since we aren't going to Stratford -- or not by boat, anyway -- we will be heading in the general direction of Birmingham. I'm told there aren't any huge flights of locks in the forecast. See me smile.


Rachel Fox said...

You guys sure work hard on your holidays!

Linda said...

holy lock opener and shutter, Sandra!
I can't imagine having to open and shut all those locks. Sounds like you, Robin and David are having a marvelous time so far and you've only just gotten started.

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