Friday, March 24, 2006

and so to "home"

Last day of Herbie's homeward trip. We awoke in Paddington basin to the sound of splashing and shouting, and peering through the windows we saw alongside us a group of Kayakers playing a sort of water polo.

Anyway, the sun was shining although it was still cold, and we quickly got ready, turned the boat (now getting good at this) and headed back to Little Venice to turn left and head for home.

No locks today, just 17 miles of cruising.

Soon we passed the wonderfully gothic (and huge) Kensal Green cemetary with some decent visitor moorings opposite - not to mention a big canalside Sainsbury's.

Then it was on past the Old Oak Common railway works, over the North Circular aqueduct

(not sure why it has a pedestrian island in the middle)

and through Greenford and Southall.

Surprisingly the landscape immediately alongside the canal is green and rural feeling except for the warehouse and workshops dotted along the way. I imagine in summer, its quite nice.

Eventually we reached Bulls Bridge, the junction with the Grand Union Canal main line. After a short stop outside Tescos for a spot of lunch we headed North, keeping an eye out for decent pubs for future reference, as this will be quite near our home base. One such pub advertises daily striptease shows from lunchtime. Our handbook notes that it is not a good pub for children. Quite!

It was nice to see working boats on this stretch carrying gravel to an aggregate plant. As usual, there were very few "pleasure" boats out.

Then our final turn, at Cowley Peachey junction and into the Slough Arm. Over three little aqueducts, keeping to the middle, " for 'tis proper weedy and shallow down 'ere", and on to our base at High Line Yachting where they were expecting us.

We're moored up against another narrowboat belonging to Phil, our new neighbour who we haven't yet met. He seems to have a pet rabbit so he can't be all that bad! We were too busy to take photos of our resting place, so I'll take and publish some later.

So here we are after our first decent trip. 48 miles, 26 locks and 2 tunnels. Not long as canal trips go, but an encouraging start. We had a great time and Herbie performed immaculately.

Next time out we'll head North up the Grand Union. Huge numbers of locks up there. Better get fit.

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