Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Canal allsorts

Green. urban. posh. very posh. trendy. urban. industrial, green, urban, tatty, depressing, trendy/posh/exciting.

That's our progress through London today from Kensal Green to Little Venice, Regents Park, Camden

Islington (well under it)

Shoreditch, Bethnal Green, Mile end, Limehouse.  You see all sides of the city in terms of wealth and attactiveness. 

The weather started off dull and damp and got progressively more wet and windy as we descended the very heavy locks of the Regents Canal.  If I wanted to show off the pleasures of boating, today would not have been the day.  Salmons Lane lock in the wind and rain is not a good place to be.

Kath and I have a policy of sharing the work of lock operation.  She does three, then we change over and I do three and so on.  On hard days this makes the work a lot easier.  Today Kath drew the short straw, and had I think the hardest locks. Heavy, slippery, and always set against her.  Then when she drove the boat, she had the worst wind to cope with.

Never mind.  The destination has big rewards.

 Limehouse basin, among all the yachts, is a good place to be even if you do have to risk your life climbing a concrete wall to get ashore and go to the pub.  The pub is worth it.  Winner of best London pub 2003-2008, the Grapes is a victorian gem and despite the wholesale rebuilding of docklands in recent years it remains pretty much as it has been for over a hundred years.  This tiny pub, brown varnished and bedecked with lovely old photos and paintings, totters over the Thames in Narrow Street. Stepping outside the door you get a real culture shock as you gaze up at the lights of the Canary Wharf tower.

Tomorrow.  The Olympic site and on up the Lee navigation

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