Off the Thames at Reading and up the Kennet and Avon. The surroundings change drastically. After negotiating the traffic lights in Reading we are soon in dense countryside. And I mean dense, with branches meeting the water from both sides. Along this stretch you can see some beautiful scenery with original turf sided locks and scalloped brick sided locks. Plenty of hard work after the tranquility of the Thames.
We found that moorings were scarce but as the boat traffic was light we were able to get away with mooring in a couple of odd places. The only big place is Newbury, otherwise it is quite remote.
We visited the pumping station at Crofton which was fascinating as it was a day working under steam. Off again up more locks and then CATASTROPHE. We hear that the Caen Hill flight is closed due to some plonker taking one of the gates off. As a result we are unable to get through to Bath and the whole flight is closed for about a week.
We reached Devizes, passing through dense reed beds which created very narrow channels. We even saw the white horses carved into the chalk hillsides. Maybe it was fortunate that the canal traffic was light as we were able to pick 4 pounds (nearly 2 kilos) of beautiful tasting blackberries near Pewsey.
We even had a brief chat with the crew of Wessex Rose, as they had been diverted due to the Caen Hill closure.
Once again more good weather and the opportunity for shorts.
Met up with Brenda and Graham of the narrowboat Rosewood who we first met in mid July in Linslade and then at the IWA Festival. We enjoyed their company for a few nights and especially Graham’s liqueur coffee.