Kim & John arrived in time for bacon butties and we then departed straight ahead from Wigrams Turn Marina onto the Grand Union Canal on route to Stratford upon Avon. We almost immediately had to shake down our locking procedure at the three Calcutt Locks, which was good practice for the eight locks of the Stockton Flight. We accompanied a traditional canvas covered working boat, called RENFREW, through the locks. One of their crew was anxious to jump ship from their unheated accomodation to our slightly more comfortable looking boat. We told him we couldn't possible deprive him from the wonderful experience of working such an authentic work boat, tough luck!!
Great weather bright blue skies, just the occasional April shower.
TUESDAY 8TH 2008
Leamington Spa was a real disappointment from the canal, we moored up at bridge 40 which is the suggested mooring point for the town, a rather sad looking area and were advised by a local dog walker, that it probable was not a good idea if we didn't want a window broken. At his suggestion we moved on to bridge 43 and tucked ourselves in on a bend between a couple of other boats, right beside a really good nursery and HomeBase just across the road, which was most useful for buying a strap wrench for removing the fuel filter only to finds that Midland Chandlers had sold me the wrong replacement one.
The Nursery came up trumps with some lovely frilly pansies and ivy, hopefully they will survive the overnight frost whilst awaiting to be replanted into the roof tubs.
WEDNESDAY 9TH 2008
We moved on just a few bridges to no. 49 and walked into Warwick. Wow! What a great town, delightful, our first discovery was a sweetie shop, full of jars containing sugar coated memories of the quarters of sweets that we used pay 2d for. Now they were 99p a 100g. £4 lighter we left.
The urge for coffee lured us to the Brothers Kitchen of the Lord Leycester Hospital. The temptation of homemade cakes proved irrestable. Suitable fortified, however we could not stomach the entrance fee of £17.95 to Warwick Castle, I am sure that it would be a great experience if you were there all day. We found the exquisite Mill Garden at the bottom of Mill Street right underneath the walls of the castle, were the motley crew took their revenge on the captain and incarcerated him in the stocks until he agreed to buy the beer at the next pub.
Jacquie took the helm for the first few locks of the Hatton Flight and managed incredible well under the calm tuition from the panicing Captan.
We stopped for the night between locks 30 and 31, just before the rain arrived and when that shower had passed, those frilly pancies got planted out by a proud Jacquie.