Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Home coming and memories of bridges

Herbie is home and our big summer voyage is complete.

What a trip. 573 miles, and 335 locks over 56 days on the move plus a good number of days off. We've covered a lot of the Grand Union plus its Slough, Wendover and Northampton arms , almost the entire navigable length of the rivers Nene, Ouse, Cam and Wissey, plus the Middle levels through route. No great shakes for some people, I know, but by far the biggest boat trip we've ever done.

I've never really known a lot about the fen country, and although it sure is flat we found it fascinating and the wildlife incredible, and there are so many waterways to explore. Not only that, the journey there along the Nene was so pretty.

My over riding memories of the trip are of lush landscapes, very very low, bridges, sunshine (!), quiet remote moorings, rare birds, snakes, a seal, and friends who joined us for bits of the journey, and amazing people we met. (not necessarily in that order!).

I'm still sorting through the hundreds of photos we took but I'll have plenty to show you in future posts. Here are a few good bridges to start us off. Remember the click the pics to see them at their biggest and best.

Thrapston bridge , where the Nene changes its pronunciation from Nen to Neen. There is a public mooring hidden on the left of the bridge here, but entry to it is not for the faint hearted The "cock up" bridge at the exit of Wicken Fen. Not an easy turn for a 50ft boat! The waterway the other side is only about 15ft wide

On the Ouse at Great Barford

Our lowest ever bridge, at Upwell on the middle levels

The bridge entry to Salter's lode tidal lock which you can just see opening at the front of the boat

Breasted up in Milton Keynes


Simon said...

welcome back!

trvialities; I realise I've finally just about used up your intial five pounds on the electricity meter, but haven't tried to use my card, and now it's my turn to be not around for a few weeks.

If you need to top the thing up, do so & I'll refund you in cash, ideally over a pub table while you regale me of tales of life on the ocean wave...

VallyP said...

Ah Neil, I'm sort of sorry your trip is over. I've enjoyed travelling 'with you' so much. That's quite some distance you've done there, and I think you've shown me parts of England I never knew about. the wildlife and nature photos were particularly lovely. What a great trip!

These bridges are marvellous. I can well imagine the stomach clenching that must have gone on as you approached some of them!

I'll look forward to mroe of your photos in the coming weeks. At least I can now share some of your memories too ;-)