Canal Boating

So, wow, boating, where to begin…

Day 1

Number of locks: 8

Dinner: Penkridge, Cross Keys

So, nice long car journey to start the holiday. Left home at about 9:30 and we ended up picking the boat up at around 2. We did stop for some lunch on the way so it wasn’t constant travelling.

For the first day it wasn’t too bad, the locks had reasonable spaces between them. But I totally forgot how much your hands suffer when doing locks as you basically give yourself blisters. Such fun!

And I also managed to forget how small the single beds are! They are tiny. I managed to fit in it but not very comfortably. They’re probably about half the size of a normal single, I’m sure!

Day 2

Number of locks: 33

Dinner: Stone, The Star

Nothing very interesting today apart from when we came to moor up we found a great spot and it was only after we had tied up the boat that we saw the sign saying no mooring. So then we had to trek up the canal to see if there was anywhere we could stop. We ended up doing three more locks that we hadn’t planned because we found a spot but it turned out to be private mooring so we had to keep on going.

Day 3

Number of locks: 14

Dinner: Kidsgrove, The Red Bull

Not such a great day as it rained all day long :/ still my hands managed to forget how much it hurts doing the locks. Blisters are starting to appear.

Also up here whenever you say thanks they say No worries instead of that’s ok or whatever you normally say. We noticed this the most when we were in the pub having dinner when they brought out our plates and we said thanks when they put them down and the waiter kept on saying no worries.

When I look back through the book it doesn’t seem like we did much today but we did go through Harecastle Tunnel and you have to go at a certain speed when you go through it so it takes longer.

    

Day 4

Number of locks: 27

Dinner: Middlewich, Chinese take away

Well today was nice and sunny (mostly) but I found it to be alright as we ended up following a boat that was occupied by four boys who weren’t too bad looking. So every time we got to a lock they would be there and we would come along behind them and help them as there are six of us on our boat. On one of the locks one of the boys said that we were good to them as we always helped them in some way. Too good some would say, I thought. But they did managed to leave the paddles open on one of the locks and then had the paddles open at the other end so that meant the water was just running through. I think that was the first lock we met them at, not a good start. Also they didn’t seem to be bothered about tying up the boat as they got the lock ready, they just let it drift…

Apparently we are currently a couple of hours ahead of schedule so that is good at the moment. Always helps if it’s raining and we don’t really feel like stopping.

There was a bit of a queue at the last lock for the day but we managed to get through it and then because we weren’t close to a pub we decided to have Chinese take away instead 🙂

Saw this and decided to have a moment. It looked rather pretty, a splash of pink in all the green…

Day 5

Number of locks: 5

Dinner: Audlem, The Shroppie Fly

Not much happened today. It wasn’t particularly sunny and this afternoon it rained as well. Was very cold though. At one point I was wrapped up in 1 top, 2 jumpers and a jacket while also being in my parents bed (seeing as they have a double bed and aren’t right at the back of the boat so don’t get a cold breeze while we are going along and have the back door open). Did stop to pump out and had a hot chocolate at that point. Then later on we had to queue for a lock so me and Emma went and had ham and cheese toasties for lunch in a cafe across the canal.
Also managed to see the boys again. Passed their boat when they were moored up at one point, we later guessed that they had gone to the shops as once we had moored up for the night they came past us. Only one of them was outside and he looked rather unhappy about that fact. Then also saw them doing a couple of locks a bit further up when we walked up for dinner but they said they were stopping soon. Unlucky for them.

Day 6

Number of locks: 20

Dinner: Norbury, Junction Inn

Had a run of 15 then a run of 5 then another run of 5 of locks today.

Hasn’t been the best day. It was nice and sunny for the first 15 but when we got to the first 5 it started to rain and after that it was a bit on and off again which was annoying.

So, we had planned a nice relaxed evening but when we arrived at the pub we had decided to stop at it turned out that they didn’t serve hot food and we wanted hot food. So we had to do a mad dash to the next pub which I think is normally about an hour away but we managed to get there in about 45 minutes. We were going fast enough to create waves and you aren’t really meant to do that. All of this just because the pub stopped serving food at 8:30.

But we made it 🙂

Day 7

Number of locks: 1

Dinner: Oxford Services, KFC

So due to the fact that we powered along yesterday and got further than we had planned and also because it is raining we are motoring our way home and getting back a day early.

I suppose it wouldn’t have been that much more as we have to get the boat back by 9 on Friday.

Normally people think we are slightly mad, doing the ring in a week and they say that we have to keep on going then and that we can’t stop which we can’t. But it is possible to complete the ring in a week. But I guess most of the people doing this are older and don’t have school or work commitments so they can stop in one place for a day or something rather than having to keep on going even if it is raining.

A surprise lock to do as well as we thought we had done our last ones yesterday, one that everyone managed to overlook when they went through the book to see if there were any more locks.

And when we stopped for a love KFC dinner I had, my first ever, Starbucks Hot Chocolate. And I must say it was very nice 🙂

Picture Time 🙂

    

  

  

  

  

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