Friday 11th July
We awoke to a lovely morning that developed into a super day such that we cruised until 7:30pm. The evening sun and Wiltshire countryside was lovely, but then tummies started rumbling so we pulled over at Honey Street.
First, and best, decision of the day as we ate the last of our Krispo-pops, was to hail a boat heading towards Caen Hill and ask if the fancied us pairing up with them for the locks. They did and so we performed a rapid un-peg and followed them towards Foxhangers. The Drakes on nb Silver Mist were excellent travelling companions, our thanks to them. For the most part we travelled as if breasted up which made life easier and our ascent faster. There were plenty of boats coming down the flight and so our passage wasn’t as fast as perhaps it could have been, but the main flight of 16 were done in 2 hours and 15 minutes. We took a total of 4 hours and 15 minutes to complete the whole flight. We suffered an enforced 15 minute wait at lock 28 whilst the VLKs brought a single boat down the last three locks above us that were set in their favour.
Regular readers should know that we went on a Bizarre walking tour of Bath on Tuesday evening. How bizarre then when a Canadian couple we met on that tour, and in the pub afterwards, turned up at lock 28 whilst we were waiting. As they were staying in B&B locally we had suggested that they take a look at Caen Hill but they was no time or date mentioned. We offered them a ride on Jannock and so they came aboard for a couple of locks before leaving to continue their journey to Stratford. Lovely people and lovely company, we hope that they enjoyed the ‘Jannock Experience’
Then the person who had suggested we try the Bath tour phoned out of the blue. How Bizarre! We got to Devizes and found the 72 hour moorings quite empty so we stopped for lunch and a rest. We then moved onto the Sani Station mooring and did a self pumpout and a water fill. If you decide to do a self pump-out at Devizes wharf use the round manhole cover beside the CaRT machine, it’s easier than using the elsan point.
We then cruised through the wonderful countryside to Honey Street. Nich’s guide says “ A traditional canalside village, complete with sawmills, incorporating some new developement and, arguably one of the most attractively landscaped and charming on the waterways”. We’ll argue – it’s a pub and campsite, a huge modern sawmill, some pretty terraced cottages facing the canal and a derelict wharf that can’t even be seen from the canal. Moor in the quiet zone and visit the pub. It’s a Hendrix – New Age – Biba – Goth themed establishment that does food up until 8:30pm. They were serving Green beer, a gimmick we know, but it tasted OK.
A local chap of some 55 years got chatting to us and was telling us about the history of the pub, the wharf, the canal and he even suggested some walks. Shame we’ll be moving on tomorrow, but if any-one is interested Alton Barnes, Alton Prior and Woodborough Hill takes a couple of hours and has fab views, two lovely churches and a 2K year old Yew tree.