8.30 am. I sit here broken hearted. This morning we set off down the Hatton flight after rising at 7am so that we could get as far as possible today in order to pick up Rick and co for a ride tomorrow.
Hatton locks are tough. The hydraulic paddle gear takes some strength to wind, but we were undaunted.
Progress was good. Very good. We did the first five locks in 25 minutes. At this rate we would do all 21 by 10am. This must be a record.
Then a nice BW man appeared. "Would you mind pulling over after this lock and tying up for a bit? There are empty pounds down at the bottom, and we have to open up eight turns on the paddles in every lock to feed water down the flight. It shouldn't take more than an hour and a half."
An hour and a half? We should have been at the bottom by then. We wouldn't have minded so much but we got up at 7am!
So here we are stuck waiting and I have a chance to update the blog with memories of happier times.
Lapworth was nice. Very pretty locks
and an easy descent,
especially as we "allowed" two young boys to open and close all the gates for us. We stopped after lock 14, leaving six to do next morning when David "Rainman" was due to join us. We thought he would enjoy the narrow locks
Kingswood junctoion where the Stratford canal meets the Grand Onion is very quirky and interesting and we got a glimpse of the first of the Stratford's famous barrel roofed cottages.
9.30. Oi up, here's the BW man again.
Now several hours and 28 locks later I am almost too tired to type. The delay at Hatton was an hour, then we set off down the flight. Those hydraulic paddle gears are flippin' 'ard work I can tell you. I feel like I've been in the gym all day.
Our first trip through Warwick and Leamington was uninspiring and you see nothing of the best side of these two towns. After that it's countryside and locks.
However, we are feeling very pleased with ourselves pleased because we've reached Long Itchington where there is a choice of pubs. Looking at the Nicholsons Guide yesterday we thought it looked out of reach. Tomorrow we have a further four crew members so we intend to drive them like slaves while we take it easy all the way to the Folly at Napton.