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Category: UK Canal Trip

End Of The Trip

End Of The Trip

We are back in swan-infested Newbury. Lots of ducks, too, but the geese seem to have buggered off, it being that time of year, and it is time for us to do the same. This is our final mooring of the trip. Tomorrow we spend doing laundry and packing, and Friday we give the boat back to Alex. Pegotty looks a little different from when we picked her up. There’s a little more blacking scraped off the hull, and some…

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Evil Nylon

Evil Nylon

Just a few days left on our trip, so we are getting ready to turn the boat back over to Alex. We are supposed to leave it with a full tank. This stretch of the canal is a bit lacking in marinas selling diesel, so I was wondering how to do that. Luckily we went past a fuel boat today – one of those roving entrepreneurs selling diesel, propane, coal, firewood, windlasses etc. to the live-aboards who never move their…

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Free Range Bacon

Free Range Bacon

A few more locks this morning took us up to the summit of the K&A. Originally the plan was to have the summit lower, and have a tunnel several miles long through the hills, but that turned out to be too expensive, so the solution was to make the canal higher, and pump water to the top. There is one stretch of tunnel about five hundred years long where the land owner refused to look at a canal. It was…

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Crop Circle Country

Crop Circle Country

Today we meandered through the heart of crop circle country. Though crop circles have long been exposed as a hoax, that doesn’t stop the true believers from being convinced that they are UFO landing spots, portals to the faery kingdom, or messages from the Tooth Fairy. I’m thinking of marketing a do-it-yourself crop circle kit, consisting of one of those living lettuce packs from the supermarket and a pair of nail clippers. Maybe you could persuade a really tiny UFO…

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Shiny

Shiny

It was raining this morning, so we hung around in the boat, then headed for the tourist hotspots of Devizes. The covered market has a drone shop, Wadworth brewery still uses a horse and cart for beer deliveries, and then there’s something called the Wiltshire Heritage Museum. That doesn’t sound like much, until you remember that Wiltshire is the location of Stonehenge, and so there is quite a bit of heritage in this part of the world. Celts, Romans, Saxons,…

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Caen Hill II: The Ascent

Caen Hill II: The Ascent

Today we returned to the magnificent and daunting Caen Hill flight of locks. Here we see our intrepid crew demonstrating the two main techniques for moving lock gates. Greg uses the frontal approach. Karen uses the bacon technique. It’s called the bacon technique because you lean back. Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha. It’s really funny if you’re English, honestly. With almost no other traffic and some help from Canal and River Trust volunteers, we made it up the flight in a bit over four…

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Warming Up

Warming Up

The title is not comment on the weather, which was not sure what it wanted to do today, but at least managed to avoid raining on us. I’m talking about the training program for the new crew: seven locks and six swing bridges today. This is just to get them in shape for the twenty nine locks of the Caen Hill flight we are planning to do tomorrow. Greg and Karen did great, working the locks and keeping the boat…

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Advanced Blackberrying

Advanced Blackberrying

My brother and his wife came down to see us, and we were also joined by our friends Greg and Karen who are going to be crewing for us for the next few days. Guess what? We finally made it into the tithe barn without any actors there. Was it worth the effort? Then it was off to lunch at the Three Gables restaurant. Excellent food, though the portions were a bit nouvelle sized, and a charming old building. Service…

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Back To Bradford

Back To Bradford

This morning we set off back to Bradford-Upon-Avon. That stretch of canal is very popular both live aboards and rental boats. There are so many moored boats that we spent most of the time going at two miles an hour. Most people on this stretch seem to go faster past moored boats, which if they are moored to spikes can pull the spikes out. We did stop and rescue one boat that this had happened to. Two more boats named…

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Taking the Waters

Taking the Waters

We had a busy day yesterday, which is why I did not get to write it up till today. First we went to one of the hot pools to “take the waters” as the say. These are all highly developed, and quite expensive. We went to the Cross Pool, which has no view, and so is less pricey. Though the changing facilities and pool itself are modern, it is surrounded by an old stone wall, so you know people have…

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