Saturday, 2 April 2016

Willoughby (cold evening cruising)

Thursday was the stillest day for many weeks and I got a lucky shot whilst sitting in the cratch in the evening.

Evening at Clifton upon Dunsmore

It was still on Friday morning too as you can see from this first picture taken from the kitchen with our new camera.  This is seven in the morning before the men turned up for work at seven thirty.

Before the pipe workers arrived in the morning

It seems rather a good job being a water pipe installer as they knocked off just before one o’clock.  Friday was April Fools’ Day and I think the best I came across was a piece on penguins spreading across the north using the canals and rivers as dispersal routes.  There was a nice picture of penguins waddling down Skipton high street where locals had been warned not to pick up a penguin.

Later in the afternoon we cruised down to the water point at the bottom of the locks at Hillmorton.  We were probably the emptiest we had ever been and called it a day after 1 ¾ hours even though we were only ¾ full.  The wind was getting up and we fancied an evening cruise as soon as Karen finished work for the week.

We climbed the three locks on the Hillmorton flight.  The locks were doubled up in 1840, an extra lock built beside each existing one.  This eased the traffic congestion caused by the only narrow locks on the route from London to Coventry.

Left: bottom pair of locks.  Centre: lock cottage at second lock.  Right: looking up to the third pair of locks

It really started to feel cold standing on the back of the boat as the wind got stronger so I ended up putting on my gloves, hat and coat like a winter’s day.

Pansies cheering up the cold evening

Earlier in the day Buddy and I had walked down the canal to Barby and then cut back across the fields through to Hillmorton.

Buddy excited by seeing sheep
Accommodation bridge looking rather sorry for itself

After about seven miles we arrived at the village of Willoughby which is about a mile north of Braunston.  The plan had been to walk across the fields to the Rose which is not a bad pub and one we used to use when cruising in this area in previous years.  In the end we stayed at home as it was nice and cosy with the stove going.  The fire burns constantly as it doesn’t take long for a steel boat to lose its heat but hopefully it won’t be long before we can start letting it go out during the day.

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