Saturday, 12 August 2017

Up the Other Side of the Avon Valley.

Saturday 12th August 2017 at Napton on the Hill.
The early morning sun was bright on the apartments opposite.
Another flight of locks ahead of us. Yesterday, we did 23 locks downhill to Warwick in the Avon Valley. Today, we have to do another 23 locks to climb back up out of the other side of the Avon Valley. "Piece of cake", said M!
Once more, these are wide locks and best shared with another boat. We were fortunate to meet up with Alan and Cath on their boat "Novoye Nacholo", which they told us is Latvian for New Beginnings.
They were a lovely couple to travel with, very relaxed and friendly. But that's Newcastle folk for you!
M walked the towpath for several miles between locks. It is a very pretty rural stretch.
Is 2017 going to be another bumper harvest year for tree fruit? The trees along the canal are laden again this year. Cath studied this crab apple tree in awe, it was literally covered in fruit!
It was fairly chaotic as we passed Calcutt's hire base at 4:30 on a Saturday afternoon with all the new hirers getting their briefing and starting out. Luckily, we got past and into the lock just as the first ones were leaving otherwise we may have had a long wait. It was lovely to see their excited, happy faces as they set off.  However, we were less enthusiastic when one of them cannoned into us at speed later in the evening!
At Wigram's Turn we said goodbye to Cath and Alan, who turned north as we turned south on to the Oxford.
Less than a mile from the turn, we found a nice quiet mooring. During the day, M had been in touch with Scott, her "second son", who lives with his family in nearby Daventry. To our surprise and delight, they were not only at home but free to come and visit.
And they bought homemade Victoria Sponge cake and scones, which Paula and the children had quickly made in the afternoon.
They also bought with them a new member of the family - "Peanut", a rather scruffy (he had been in the canal) but very loveable spaniel. He was a rescue dog who had settled in with them within hours of arriving. Peanut had to stay on the towpath but peered hopefully through the window.
We had a lovely catch-up over tea and cake.
They left about 7:00pm but promised to return tomorrow for a short cruise.
The evening sun was lovely on the fields.
Today: 11 miles, 23 locks and 7.6 hours.
Trip: 197 miles, 210 locks and 143.8 hours.

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