It seems so long ago since my last blog, but although in the middle of England the phone signal seems to be non existant. So much for super fast everything across the country that they advertise. It was even mentioned on a recent news item about foreign visitors getting a better service with their data roaming than we do in many rural parts of the UK. Anyway now is the time to try and remember what we have been up to.
a peaceful mooring overlooking a field of sheep
When we left our peaceful mooring where we had spent a few days, we were heading for Crick. This village and canalside comes alive in the May bank holiday weekend as it hosts the annual Crick Boat show, but for now it is relatively quiet. First negotiating Crick tunnel (they do have alot of tunnels in these parts), 1528yds with 2 way working, but we didn’t meet anyone coming the other way this time. Moorings for the village and marina were just past the tunnel, so we found a spot to stop.
entrance to Crick tunnel
We popped into the marina and found out our mooring for December; and also had a walk into the village to the local co-op to get some fruit. They had a £5 meal deal of lasagne, chips, garlic bread, peas and ice cream, so we purchased this as always handy to spread the items out over other meals.,and I had room in the freezer. Our next stop was Yelvertoft Wharf which was only a couple of miles away.
The beacon on Cracks Hill
A rather large amount of round bales
A couple of nights spent at Yelvertoft with a little walk into the village. There isn’t alot there, but there is a small deli and butchers with a lovely array of locally sourced meat; so I purchased two Dexter steaks. The canal from here winds it’s way along the Jurassic Way, and because we needed the all important sanitary station we headed for Welford, taking a journey down the Welford arm, through one small lock and into the old wharf there where many boats are moored in the small marina and wharf.
signpost showing the way
negotiating the Welford arm, quite narrow in places
the end of the arm with Charlie in the picture carrying the empty toilet cassettes
the wharf early evening
We had a few nights here and I had found a lovely walk with Izzy that went through a small park and through fields of sheep, and back to the boat. I also had a walk into Welford although again not alot there except a small convenience store. I did look around the church though and purchased a poppy.
Postman Pat welcoming you to Welford
The wharf can’t make up it’s mind which county to be in !
the signs are only a few yards apart
We left Welford on Wednesday as I had managed to contact the fuel boat Callisto, who said he would be passing later in the day. We needed to top up with diesel, gas and coal so we headed for the junction to wait for him there. He arrived around 2pm and we topped up with what we needed, then moored a little further along with a field view if some cattle. Now Thursday started off ok but I wasn’t feeling too good as the day progressed. My neck decided to swell on one side, and I had the most excruciating pain in my neck and chest, feeling like I had been kicked by a bullock! Charlie wanted to see if he could get a cable to connect to the battery bank, as he thought the alternator to the leisure batteries was failing. I managed a walk with him to North Kilworth Wharf, where they obliged with this (also purchasing an emergency folding shovel), but then had to spend the afternoon resting as felt quite rough by this point. Friday Charlie decided to get us to Foxton, whilst I stayed warm and toasty inside. Negotiating yet another tunnel at Husbands Bosworth (1170yds), and finally stopping at the top of Foxton locks.
We had a walk down the lock flight with Izzy, and then to our surprise saw nbGeorgina with Eric and Deb,(whom we went on the BCN cruise with, and saw again on the Avon). They moor in the winter very close to this area and were visiting the local hostelry. They did invite us to a firework display and BBQ but I had to decline as still feeling rough. I thought I may have to visit the GP in Market Harborough if it continued. I purchased some ibuprofen in the shop and that seemed to stem the pain more than paracetemol. Sunday I was feeling a bit better so we decided to tackle the lock flight (10 locks consisting of 2 staircases of 5 chambers). Charlie went ahead to speak with the lock keeper to find out when we could go through; as one boat was coming up we had to wait for them, as there is only one passing place, and they had gone past this. I handled the boat through.
the boat we were waiting for
the top of the lock flight
I managed to take some photos as we were going through.
inside the lock looking back at the gates
inside the lock looking forward
Charlie waiting for the boat to descend
looking up at the first 5 locks
I managed to negotiate the flight without banging the boat, and even got across the passing pound and fierce bywash and into the first of the final 5, and got a compliment of “well done madam” from the lock keeper. He said that most people didn’t manage to do it without banging the side. Lots of gongoozler’s around as it was Sunday, so really had to do it right and show us women can do it too!
Turning right at the bottom and through a swingbridge onto the Market Harborough arm. The weather was lovely to start, and we had a couple of hours journey till we got to the end of the arm and Union Wharf. I went inside and started cooking the dinner, and halfway along the journey it started to rain, so by the time we stopped Charlie was fed up and cold. We are now in a mooring within the wharf (£10 a night with electric), so can catch up on washing and explore Market Harborough. We plan to leave here on Thursday. The batteries seem to be ok, so the alternator must be working. It would cost £500 for a new one so glad it has settled. I am feeling better so decided not to trouble the local GP. More on Market Harborough in next blog.