To date : 633 miles, 379 locks
Phew! What a day!!
We were up early to sort out the last minute chores... fill the water tank... pay up for our mooring... and I had a couple of hours work to finish. We were aiming to leave at 9.30am which is Barry's idea of early. As it turned out we weren't that far off. We left the mooring at 9.45, waving goodbye to Jim and Joan who would be heading towards Napton.
Arriving at the first lock and it didn't look too daunting. You can only see the lock ahead and that's nothing much. Mick worked a couple of the locks in the first 6 or 7 and then we turned the corner and saw the sight we'd be anticipating - "the stairway to heaven".
About 6 locks from the top we got chatting to a family on holiday with their two teenage sons. Imagine our joy at two willing lock helpers! The boys helped us through the remaining locks and then they all walked along to where we moored up for a chat and to check out our boats. It's lovely to meet teenagers who are cheerful, friendly and without an attitude. Thanks so much Callum and Sean for your help today. Andy and Ally it was lovely to meet you both too. Hope you do have a hire boat holiday one day. I'm sure you'll all enjoy it.
At one of the last locks a couple said as I rushed by that they were blog readers. I'm sorry I didn't have time to stop. I came back while the lock was filling but they'd walked away.
There was a Canal and River Trust fellow at the last few locks. He was helping a boat heading down the locks. He told us the boaters had just picked up their boat yesterday. Imagine your first day out being tackling the Hatton Lock flight!!
We moored at the top of the lock flight. We had seen in our guide book that there was a place called "Hatton Country World" not far away. Mick and I went for a walk to have a look. It looked like a great place for kids and there were some shops to browse. It was a nice walk too.
We're all exhausted tonight.... grizzling about sore knees, and backs, and legs... but it's a satisfied sort of tired and I'm sure we'll sleep well.