Leaving Brinklow Marina yesterday we embarked on two very short days of cruising which brought us to our mooring today at Hawkesbury Junction.
As we left the marina we soon entered the gorgeous dappled confines of the wonderfully named “All Oaks Wood”, where Doug jumped off with the bike and peddled down the road to Brinklow village for milk and the Saturday paper.
James carried on towards Stretton Stop to meet up with Doug again – but getting held up in the process, and being overtaken by two canoes (!), Doug was there and waiting 15 minutes before he arrived. Such is the excitement of boating.
Further on we got held up a second time – on this occasion by a hire boat with eight lads on board, none of which could keep it in a straight line! They were good fun to watch for while and they did manage to keep the boat stationary long enough for us to pass them. It was hardly a salute from the Company of the Ark Royal but it was much appreciated all the same!
After an hour and a half (just long enough to charge the batteries) we moored at one of our favourite spots by Ansty golf course, where we enjoyed the afternoon sunshine.
Until it rained! And it DID rain, and the wind DID blow and then it rained a lot more. So we went inside and had dinner and watched the TV with sound up high because the rain on the roof was so loud – very cosy.
Today, the short hop of another hour and a half took us through…….
…… animal territory. A field of shire horses with giant Canada geese………
………. and a field with Jacob sheep and one with a proper herd of cows (hundreds of them).
We arrived at Hawkesbury Junction where the stop lock gave Doug something to do as this section of canal offers no locks for for miles and miles in either direction.
Doug got up on the bridge to take this shot of ‘Chance’. The lock takes boats down all of one foot from the Oxford Canal to the Coventry Canal.
James makes the tight manoeuvre from the lock and through the bridge. On this occasion it was made even more interesting by the arrival of 3 hire boats coming from the other direction at the same time and converging on this very small and complicated junction. However, we all managed to avoid metal to metal contact and we soon got ‘Chance’ moored up a few yards further on.
As we had the afternoon free, and the weather was sunny again, we decided to take the bus into Coventry, where our first destination was the canal basin. With seven boats moored there it felt quite busy. Speaking to the crews from two boats, neither were very enamoured by their two hour trip from Hawkesbury.
Next to the ruined cathedral there are some lovely old buildings which escaped the terrible wartime bombing in November 1940 which almost destroyed the city completely.
The fabulous etched glass wall which all but separates the old cathedral from Sir Basil Spence’s new one, opened in 1962.
We bussed back to Hawkesbury after a spot of lunch and Sainsbury shopping and are now looking forward to this evening, when friends Rose and Pete will visit us from their home near Evesham. We hope to have a meal at The Greyhound pub (the one in the background 3 photos back).