After leaving Lauren and the Slough arm we rejoined the Grand Union and stayed overnight on Friday at Cowley by the recreation fields. We left about nine on Saturday morning but stopped at a water point so that we could give the boat a good wash and rub down. We then went to Uxbridge marina to top up with diesel, coal and water and get a pump out. The rain held off all day apart from a couple of drizzly bits for a few minutes. Karen and Buddy walked along the tow path as usual and got the locks set.
When we got to Black Jack's lock at Harefield we felt we were more in the country so decided to moor up for the rest of the day.
We went for a walk into Harefield and then called in at The Old Orchard pub which was full of dogs to Buddy's delight. We decided we should stay where we are on Sunday as it feels very pleasant and we have invited Karen's mum over for lunch. There is a half marathon on the tow path tomorrow so another good reason not to move.
When we woke up on Sunday morning we found we were at the six mile marker.
Mind you, the Grand Union half marathon is nothing compared with the annual Grand Union race. This is over the entire length of the canal - 145 miles. You must complete it within 45 hours and rests/breaks are limited to 40 minutes a time.
We keep seeing and hearing parakeets. We first noticed them as we headed west out of central London and have seen a pair or more most days. It'll be interesting to see how far north they have spread. They were first seen in west London in the 1960s and hadn't spread until recently. The first indication is the screeching and then you see them flying fast and high up in the trees, often being mobbed by other birds. They are spectacularly green and most out of place in England.
We went for a 4.5 mile circular walk in the morning taking in part of the South Bucks way and a couple of other ancient tracks. We passed an old boatyard on a feeder arm to the canal; it looked like it was abandoned years ago and the arm itself looked totally un-navigable.
The view from the South Bucks way.
Karen's mum, Ann, joined us for a roast lunch. The canal was very busy, it seemed as if there was a boat going past every ten minutes. Mind you it was a gorgeous afternoon. This was our view at lunchtime.
And this was our view when we said good bye to Ann as the sun was setting.
We'll probably move on tomorrow as the forecast is for yet another dry and sunny day.