It was another heavily locked day today and, with 14 locks in 7 miles, there seemed to be a lock round every bend!
However, the first lock (no 39 on the Marsworth flight) had its highlight – when we emptied it of water a heron flew down and landed on the cill, taking a fish which was stranded there. It was very tame and obviously something it was used to doing.
It hung around very close to us until we left - at one stage sitting on the towpath until Doug was only a couple of feet away.
The weather was glorious again today and the Marsworth flight was very pretty, especially now the trees are starting to change colour.
This flight of locks skirts around the edges of three lakes (strictly reservoirs) and the views across them were wonderful, especially on a day like today.
Getting to the top of the flight, the last lock brought us out at Bulbourne Junction where the Wendover Arm goes off under the footbridge on the right.
Just past the Wendover Arm we passed the former Bulbourne Depot. The architecture of such an industrial building just says it all.
Once past Bulbourne Junction we were on the summit and cruising along the one and a half mile Tring Cutting. It took near on five years to dig it out with picks and wheelbarrows and, as the book says, after nature played her part…………
……… she created a “chasm of narcotic splendour”
The undoubted highlight of our day was to bump into Jaq and Les on nb ‘Valerie’. We stopped for a cup of tea with them and had some great conversation. Jaq has a vast and wondrous knowledge of health issues and we came away much wiser than when we arrived. It was so good to see you again – good luck for the future both of you.
We continued our journey towards Berkhamsted through the next seven locks – most of which needed some urgent work carried out. This example is at no 48 (Dudswell) but so many of them are missing vital brickwork under the coping stones. There seem to be closures planned for some of these locks this winter so maybe all will be well in the spring.
Putting the poor condition of some of the locks to one side, there are some very lovely settings to be had on this stretch – this is at locks 51 & 52 known as “Gas Two” (great name!). The photo was not taken from a helicopter, just James standing on the roof of ‘Chance’!
We moored up this evening in Berkhamsted so Doug could do some Waitrose shopping while James did his “thing” on ‘Chance’.