Two lovely, luxurious days, sleeping in a proper bed and baths whenever Jacquie felt like it and Duggie made the most of Ann and Brian’s garden, rearranging flower pots, both empty and full, plus sticks, numerous balls and anything else he could find to his own peculiar idea as to the ideal doggie garden.
Jacquie joined Ann at an art class and returned with a masterpiece (I think it’s a yacht on fire in the fog, very Turnersque) now framed and hung in the loo, the only place Jacquie would agree to, how modest! I used the time to catch up with blogging, but how quickly I fall behind, but here we go again.
Friday dawned bright and beautiful as Brian and Ann delivered us back to SKYY, the pontoon can only be accessed via a gate secured with a BW lock so all was as we had left her, but I did notice that she had been moved a bit, obviously to make room for a another boat. After loading everything on board the girls returned the car to its garage and walked Duggie back to the boat.
Almost immediately after leaving the pontoon the green light of Gunthorpe lock beckoned us in. The lock keeper enquired how far we were going, which was Newark and he said he would radio ahead and advise the keeper at Hazelford Lock that we were on our way. This five mile stretch is quite straight with high red cliffs and wooded escarpment to our right and flat, cow strewn fields on our left, all very beautiful with sun sparkling on the slightly ruffled water.
The river takes a much windier course below Hazelford lock and after seven miles Newark Marina with its very smart, shiny white river cruisers heralded the outskirts of Newark. The remaining old warehouses, now converted to homes, pubs and restaurants soon give way to the Town Lock with the wonderful back drop of Newark’s old castle. We had to wait whilst a boat came up through the lock and as we prepared to enter as the other boat came passed us, to our surprise the lock gates started to close, however a couple of blasts of my twin tooters soon reversed the situation with an apology from the lock keeper that he hadn’t seen us. After passing under a splendid footbridge we turned into Kings Marina and found our reserved berth and here SKYY would stay for a week at £8 per night including electric.
On Saturday we explored the town and castle that had played such an important role during the Civil War. Entrance to the castle is free, but for a small fee of £2.50 per person we had a conducted tour up the tower, down the undercroft and various other secured areas by our very informative guide, excellent value.
In the evening we walked back into town, pausing to take a photo of the illuminated bridge and castle before dining at an Indian restaurant. On Sunday morning a taxi arrived to take Ann and Brian back to their home and we had another mooch around the town, which we decided really is The Jewel in the Crown of The River Trent.