Newbold to Braunston : 12 miles, 3 locks
To date : 1310 miles, 875 locks
It wasn't an early morning for us this morning. We slept in and then dallied around. By the time we were preparing to leave, a hire boat was passing with the Dutch crew on board from the other day. They waved madly like old friends. We had a quick chat as they passed and we pulled pins and headed off after them.
We wanted to stop at Rugby for a grocery top up before the bank holiday weekend. We came through the bridge hoping there would be a free space on the right hand side where the path leads down to Tesco. It appeared a boat had just pulled out of the one vacant space as our Dutch friends were nowhere in sight and there was a boat tootling through the moored boats ahead. The folk on that boat were waving at us. I looked a bit closer and it was nb Waiouru! We waved back as they headed off and sorted ourselves out on the mooring to go shopping. Shame we didn't arrive earlier.
On our way again and it wasn't long before I could hear Mick calling out to someone on a moored boat we were passing. Waiouru again. A very quick chat and wave in passing. We wanted to reach Braunston in the hope of a mooring for the weekend.
It's a very pretty approach to Braunston with the old ridge and furrow still visible and lambs frolicking in the fields. There was chaos just before the junction with a cluster of boats trying to get to the water point. One boat was too long to fit on the space left and messed about trying to get in far enough to let a boat past. We lingered while they fumbled about with another boat waiting at the other end of the traffic jam.
There wasn't much available in the way of mooring and we ended up winding at the marina and coming back out to a space by a bridge. There had been a 14 day space not quite long enough with a boat moored with a huge gap behind. I went for a walk to see what else I might find, and perhaps ask the fellow if he might be willing to move back. Instead I got chatting to a friendly lady on a hire boat. I asked her if they were in Braunston overnight or for the weekend.... hoping for the former. She said they were leaving after a cup of tea! Perfect. We had ourselves a better mooring.
Then as we did some fancy footwork to get to the hire boat who waited for us so we were guaranteed the spot, the Dutch hirers appeared again. This time they were on foot coming back from a late pub lunch. More chatting and admiring of the boat from the towpath. They were particularly impressed with the bow thruster. We waved them off for the final time as they have to have their boat back to Napton in the morning.
Having topped up with water at Hillmorton (figuring it would be easier than Braunston), we are happily settled at one of our favourite canal villages. A bit later than we usually moor up but the messing about with moorings took time. The forecast is for a sunny but cold day tomorrow so that's something to look forward to. We are missing the sun.
No photos until tomorrow. This is an iPad blog entry.