Flippin' eck it's hot. Today we progressed from last night's mooring in Berkhamsted to here at Apsley where we await the arrival of extra staff (David) in the morning. Such was the heat today that we were forced to take extra breaks, the first being after only three locks when we passed the diminutive but wonderful Rising Sun pub.
What a little gem this pub has become since the present owners took over a year or two back. Concentrating on providing an ever changing selection of real ales and real ciders in a civilised atmosphere they have hit the spot precisely. Today was the start of their summer beer festival weekend, offering a stack of ales from local ish breweries, an equal amount of ciders and about 80 Belgian bottled beers. They are right by the bottom lock in the town - do give them a try when you pass. Today we contented ourselves with a couple of halves each of beer and a very good ploughmans lunch with three outstanding British cheeses, the best being a superb exmoor blue. All this in a lovely little bar with a selection of daily papers to read. To cap it all we took away a four pint carry out of some exquisite apple and pear cider which we are sampling as I write. Ten out of ten, Rising Sun.
15 locks we did today - a lot in this heat, especially as the lock gates hereabouts tend to be quite heavy. Strange, as the top gates always swing open as you enter so one open gate beacomes two that you have to close. We didn't finish until about 8pm, and now we sit in the cool of the evening, in the dark on the towpath verge with me typing this by the light of the netbook screen.
Claire and Joe send their thanks to those who left good wishes for his recovery, and I do too.