Thursday, November 20, 2014

More wood than you can shake a stick at…

Since leaving Gary and Della at Radford Semele yesterday morning we seem to have done nothing but hump logs about.
Contractors had been busy on the mile or so between Bridges 38 and 47, giving the encroaching trees a very thorough pruning, or even felling. We thought we’d done well on Tuesday, but that merely scratched the surface. Most of the wood on the towpath had already been adopted, of course, but there was and is still plenty on the offside, for those with a bit of perseverance ( and good balance) to go for it.

We didn’t get so far yesterday, just a mile and a half into Leamington Spa, but it still took us 2½ hours. I was so busy I didn’t take any photos. Not a one.

I did have a result when I went shopping for some new boots, however. The shop I’d earmarked as being closest to the mooring and having a good selection was the Mountain Warehouse on The Parade. It turns out that they are having a clearance sale prior to refitting, and everything was half-price. A very suitable pair of £70 medium weight walking boots were going for £35. Lovely jubbly. So I bought two. Pairs. I love a BOGOF.

My brief visit to the spa town left a favourable impression. It’s seems to be mostly Georgian or Victorian, with some fine architecture and a good range of shops. We should return. And I’ll have to remember the prefix Royal, awarded by Queen Victoria in 1838.

Meanwhile Sue had discovered an older stash of wood part covered by vegetation that had been missed, so that was first on the agenda this morning. That all went on No Problem, then I ran Seyella up on the mud on the offside and recovered several good sized logs left there. A little precarious but needs must. Meanwhile Sue was walking along the towpath dragging timber out of the undergrowth while Vic was bringing NP along to collect it.

All in all a very productive morning’s work.

Anyway, back to the cruising, what there was of it…

Approaching Bridge 40 this morning.
You can tell we’re burning wood again…

Shopping is a doodle along here. There’s a Co-op alongside Bridge 40, Morrison’s, Lidl and Homebase either side of B42, and a large Tesco on the offside with it’s own moorings at Bridge 46.
Our retailer of choice for today was Morrison’s…

Moored for shopping, and sorting out the roof loads. We were fore-end heavy and listing to the left…IMG_2439

Lidl has moorings right outside, too.

The two towns of Royal Leamington Spa and Warwick are separated by the River Avon. The river and railway are crossed on aqueducts over the valley, a patch of green before the fringes of Warwick start to crowd in on the canal.

Over the railway…

…and the river.
The Stratford & Warwick Waterways Trust have a cunning plan to make the Avon navigable to here, then raise it through a flight of four locks to the canal. If achieved there would be an alternative route south to the Severn without going over the Birmingham plateau. That’d be good.

There’s that Tesco at Bridge 46…
Today the moorings outside were full, in fact they often are. But there are bollards just the other side of the bridge on the towpath.

There’s an arch through the offside structure of Bridge 48, that and the wide, level ground on the offside lead me to suspect that there were towpaths on both sides of the canal along here.

Overgrown arch through Bridge 48IMG_2448

I mentioned the other day that the climb back up out of the Avon valley starts with the 21 lock Hatton flight. Of course, I’d “mislaid” the two Cape Locks, lifting the canal the first 14 feet.

Coming up Cape LocksIMG_2456

The Cape of Good Hope

Into Cape Top, look at that wood!IMG_2458
It’s not fair, Sue and Vic have six foot more available roof space than us!

We topped up with water above the locks, we’ve had to do two wash loads today after a mishap with 2 litres of milk yesterday soaked the rugs…

The Napton and Warwick Canal met the Warwick and Birmingham at a T junction at Budbrooke Junction, just under Bridge 51. The Saltisford Arm, to the left is the tail end of the W&B, which heads from here up the Hatton Locks towards Birmingham.

Saltisford Arm and the Warwick and Birmingham Canal terminus.IMG_2460

We pulled in around the corner, almost within sight of the bottom of Hatton, our challenge for tomorrow.

Locks 2, miles 5 (both days)

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