Saturday 12th July
I was up and out on a car shuffle at 06:30. A weird sensation – riding a motorcycle through WARM mist/fog. Usually it’s cold. Best way to get through Devizes with no hassle is to do it before 07:15. Fetched the car from Sells Green and moved it to Crofton.
You know it’s time to get a new Nicholsons guide when they’ve re-numbered the bridges. A tad confusing. Lock 63 at bridge 63 turns out to be lock 63 at bridge 98 and there are no longer two bridge 102’s – and there is now a bridge 100.
Today was Scorchio Scorchio, first shady tree stoppage this year – just for resting. Sat and had lunch above the Wooton River locks and it was too hot to start off again. We finally dragged ourselves back into action as we spotted the wide beam boat, moored just down from us, were preparing to set off and didn’t fancy having to follow them down Crofton locks. We set off again at 3:30 and crossed the summit, including passing through Bruce tunnel, before descending the nine locks to moor before Bedwyn Church lock.
We then walked into the village and went to the Three Tuns for dinner, you can tell that there are not a lot of supermarkets along this part of the K&A. We enjoyed an excellent meal but at a slightly premium price, but I don’t mind paying a bit extra for good food that is over and above pub grub. They are enjoying the increase in trade as the Cross Keys is temporarily closed.
We were sad to see the decline of the ‘Stonemasons Museum’ as we walked through the village. The plot is currently up for sale, for the development of a ‘substantial’ dwelling (smaller units for village folk might be a more popular idea, if not such a money maker) Many of the old stone mason’s pieces now adorn the walls of the Post Office as that has moved into the building.
We had a damp walk back to Jannock due to lots of rain arriving whilst we were eating in the pub.
Sunday 13th July
A live-aboard couple we met in a lock told us that the moorings we were heading for in Hungerford were likely to be full as it was the Carnival there today. Apparently a lot of boats had decided to visit the town for the event. So, as so often on this trip, Plan B was actioned. We pulled in next to Lee and Pip instead. Lee was out for the weekend on his boat and so was mooring it up for the week. He and Pip have to return to Somerset to work the last week of term. He works in a unit for children excluded from mainstream school. Pip, a young Spaniel-Collie cross of sleek black tresses and much energy, works alongside him. Pip is loved by children and can help, calm and communicate with children who aren’t best pleased with adults. Truly a working dog. I wonder what Michael Gove would make of her?
We moored up ready to tidy, make secure and lunch and within 10 minutes the rain started. Luckily it had ceased when G. decided to go and fetch the car. You know it’s time to go home when . . . . . . .