After 6 fantastic weeks, today is Oliver’s last day of his grand adventure to Llangollen and back.
We started with a beautiful sunny morning, the perfect start to the last day.
In no time at all we were coming up to Braunston junction
Braunston is one of our favourite places to stop and gongoozle, but today we didn’t stop and went through the locks and up to the tunnel. On the way we came across this strange sight:
The tunnel is long and dark, but thankfully as there’s been so little rain recently it was relatively dry for once so we didn’t get soaked like we usually do. Sarah had great fun trying to get some atmospheric photos in the dark, here’s a small selection of them
After the tunnel we were soon back at the junction to Buckby locks, our nemesis. Fortunately we met up with another boat, (The Denby Rose also from Heyford Fields Marina) so shared the work and got through them in good time, before refuelling at Rugby boats and finally returning back to where it all started. Little did we know Dad was keeping tabs on us all the time, and took careful note of our arrival
It feels strange to be back in the marina, but we were delighted to find our neighbours Razamataz back in the water after 6 months of refit after a fire, and it was lovely to see everyone again.
Now we must start planning the next great adventure…. watch this space!
A sticky night on the boat and it’s fair to say I was not looking forward to today and another 21 locks. We had a good hour before we hit the first lock and found ‘Bones’, a single handed chap called Ray waiting for us.
It’s fair to say that I wasn’t impressed as it’s more effort for no reward. How wrong could I be.
We only opened one gate. Toby would go in first and I’d be on the other side with my trusty rope on a Karabina dangling down, Toby would then pass through the centre rope, and I pulled the boat across, Bones came in second. I then opened one paddle and one gate and we carried on like this for the morning.
We did intend to stop for lunch but as the locks were in our favour, so we decided to carry on through the flight at Stockton Locks. Ray was very trusting of Toby and suggested we tie the two boats together and Toby steer both boats into the lock.
All 21 locks done and I hadn’t even broken a sweat! We pushed our luck a bit too far in the late afternoon in the hope of getting to Braunston; it started raining so we decided to moor up a bit early and watch some Wimbledon tennis!
Today was a real melter. We set off at 8:15 to make a start before it got too hot, but it wasn’t long until the mercury started rising. We passed this cute little ‘house’ which made Sarah and I smile
We had some welcome relief from the heat when we went through Shrewley tunnel. What we hadn’t expected was quite such a cooling down from all the water dripping down, we both got quite wet!
The big challenge for today, other than the heat, was always going to be Hatton and its flight of 21 double locks.
Sensible folk would probably have moored up for the day and done it the next morning, but we don’t want to be sensible so we cracked on! Fortunately for us, another boat Verity turned up after we’d only gone down a couple, and with 5 20-somethings on board it made everything a lot easier, even if almost every lock was set against us.
Hatton is never easy and the heat was wilting, but after we refreshed everyone with some ice poles we eventually made it down to the bottom and said farewell to Verity and her lovely crew.
After that we were done in so moored up in the next available spot. We’re still melting, but things are gradually cooling down from the earlier 36C the thermometer was registering.