Sunday, 7 July 2013

Reaquainted with the Kennet

Tonight we are back in Newbury, this time moored above the lock to try to get some shade on the boat.  Today has been extraordinarily hot.  It's fine having a solar panel which you want to place in bright sun to charge the batteries, but today it would be unbearable to be moored in the sun, so we've sacrificed replenishing the batteries for a bit of personal comfort.

Since the last posting we have been making our way back East from Devizes and yesterday and today we've had the pleasure of a visit from our daughter, Lucy.  From Devizes there is a 15 mile lock free pound with distant views of the 'Wiltshire Wolds'.

Distant views of Wiltshire Hills from the summit pound of the canal.

Walker's Hill White Horse, one of many white horses in this area.

Coming into the delightfully named Honeystreet we got stuck behind this hotel boat:

This, as you can see, is a widebeam boat of generous proportions and goes extraordinarily slowly to the extent that from time to time we had to slip Leo into neutral because we simply could not go that slowly.  Fortunately they decided to moor at Honeystreet so that we could return to our normal 3 mph.

On Saturday Lucy joined us and we came down the locks from Crofton towards Hungerford.

This is Little Bedwyn and the scene matches a painting we saw at Devizes with two steam engines passing under the footbridge by the canal.

Here is Lucy trying to gain a few feet to get a photo.

 It really as been hot the last couple of days and this was our attempt to use umbrellas as parasols.  It did help cut down the heat.

You've probably heard of or seen turf roofs for houses or outbuildings.  But we had certainly never seen one on a narrowboat before.

We spent the night in Hungerford with a meal at a nice Italian restaurant called Primavera.  In the churchyard at Hungerford is this amazing Tumble Stile (also called a Clattering Stile):

Here is the stile in its closed position.  Each horizontal is pivoted and the weights on the left hold them all level.

To open the stile you simply push down and then step over the low part.  Once you release the stile it springs back with the weight of the wooden blocks on the left and makes a delightful 'clattering' noise, hence its name.

Here are a few more sights along our way today:

An idyllic scene taken through a lock gate as Ian went down in the lock.

At first this looked like someone with a VW van in their back garden.  However look more closely!

Unfortunately this picture is not as sharp as I would have liked, but it does show a Red Kite of which we've seen a number round here.

Tomorrow Ian has to have a day off boating, going to a Naughty Boys Course (a Speed Awareness Course for those caught on radar traps - not on Leo!), but on Tuesday we will carry on our Easterly cruising towards Reading where we will rejoin the Thames.  We hope to meet some more friends round Reading before we continue towards London.

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