Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Hurricane!–what hurricane?

It was difficult to believe that only yesterday we were being buffeted by the remains of a hurricane – today it was bright sunshine, warm and not even a breeze.


Within five hundreds yards from last night’s mooring we passed over the Ouse Aqueduct with only the low, narrow edge of the iron trough to stop us joining the River Ouse 30 feet below.  The aqueduct was constructed in 1881 and was the forth attempt at bridging the river. 


From aqueduct to viaduct, on the outskirts of Milton Keynes we crossed over Grafton Street, now a  busy dual carriageway. It must be very strange for drivers to see a narrow boat in the air. 


It’s difficult to portray Milton Keynes in a few photos – from the canal it’s green and pleasant, especially on such a lovely autumn day.


An unsuspecting James in a ‘trance’, just managing to keep the sun from his eyes, is about to enjoy a custard tart and a mug of coffee.


James was rudely awakened from his trance by the approach of  “Valhalla”, an awesome looking wide beam, very stealth-like and cleverly designed, the front is low and crouching ……


…… and the rear is huge and threatening and the engine sounds like it should be powering a Sherman tank!  We last saw this boat earlier this year in Abingdon on the River Thames.


Milton Keynes is peppered with lovely old buildings sitting a little uncomfortably next to modern constructions. Next to this  idyllic setting is the massive bridge taking the A5 over the canal.


Out of a very pleasant Milton Keynes (which seems to go on forever!) we were soon going up in the world in Fenny Stratford Lock (by all of 18 inches!).  It has a swing bridge over the middle of it  just to add a touch of interest.


The only thing between us now and our desired moorings for the night near Old Linslade was the Soulbury Three Locks.  The lower pound is known to overflow and flood the pub if we boaters don’t fill and empty the locks correctly. Needless to say the pub stayed dry on this occasion!

We’ve now safely moored up, as desired, on the wonderfully named  three mile long Jackdaw Pound near Old Linslade, the sunshine we’ve had for most of the day has now changed to a light drizzle so it’s another cosy night by the fire.

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