FRIDAY 26TH TO TUESDAY 31ST JULY 2012
Firstly, many thanks for all the concern shown for Duggie, but I am pleased to say that he is absolutely back to his usual self, the wound has healed well and apart from his shaved paw you wouldn’t know he had been in the wars.
We watched the Olympic ceremony on Friday night with our chums at Eaton Socon, we loved the maypole and cricket on the village green bit, and the industrial revolution, but got confused with the rest of it, but then, I am definitely turning into an old curmudgeon. We had to keep the taxi waiting for half an hour whilst waiting for the lighting of the cauldron, but that was worth it!
We left our mooring reasonably early on Saturday morning, hoping to avoid the rush for the locks, but actually there was hardly a boat on the move, Jacquie said that all normal people would be watching the Olympics on TV; anyway we soon arrived at Great Barford Lock and moored on a lovely bit of open green on the opposite side to The Anchor pub and just before the 15th century stone bridge, well, the down side is stone, but the upside is brick faced, this being added when the bridge was widened in the 19th century.
Other friends, Angela and David, who live in Bedford, joined us late in the afternoon for a meal. They have a river cruiser moored in Bedford and we hope to have a trip out on their boat, during the next few days. On Sunday morning we walked up to the village and passed a white farm house, the front of which, had had an amazing Georgian makeover, giving it the appearance of a grand three story house, obviously the long gone farmer must have had pretensions of grandeur.
We passed under the indicated arch of the old bridge on Sunday morning without any difficulty and headed upstream on the ever narrowing river. Three locks to navigate; the first two of which were with mitre gates at each end and were set right alongside the weir; these were quick to operate; the last one some way down a cutting, had a guillotine gate at one end and was full of kids splashing about. This lock took a bit longer to traverse, but we were soon back onto the river and within a few minutes we hooted at and waved to David as we passed him whilst he was polishing his boat. We turned into the very poorly indicated BWML Priory Marina and temporarily moored at the fuel pontoon, after finding the tucked away BWML office and checking in we eventually tied up at our allocated pontoon, plugged into the shoreline, filled with water and adjusted the satellite dish.
The end of navigation is just a mile or so upriver, so this is as far as we can go on this trip; it is all downstream from this point on, but this is a good base to stay whilst exploring Bedford. The riverside up near the town centre is lovely, reminiscent of Maidenhead on the Thames and the new silver pyramid construction houses a swimming pool and right next to the marina is the Priory Country Park with lots of great doggy walks.
David collected us by car on Monday evening and we had dinner with them and today, Tuesday, Jacquie is having a girly outing with Angela, whilst I catch up with the blog and hopefully tomorrow we will experience the river from a proper boat.