Early dart to Braunston
Last night, after dinner, we walked along the towpath to the next bridge and then walked up the main street of Newbold on Avon before settling for the evening. By nine o’clock we were both yawning and by ten we had turned in for the night. We were up and on our way by seven this morning and as we left, it looked like everyone else was having a Sunday lie in. Our early start paid off and we met nothing as we ticked over through the usual pinch points at Brownsover and Clifton Cruisers. In fact we only met two oncoming boats before we reached Hillmorton although that would soon change. The locks were all in our favour and we left the last one at nine o’clock so we were well on our way to Braunston. It took just under two and a half hours to reach our destination and along the way we met around thirty boats, many of them in convoy including three at the bridge by Willoughby Wharf which caused us to have to pull over and wait. Our final encounter was under the first A45 road bridge, well where else would it be? No harm done as both boats were travelling slowly and we backed up to let the American crew ease through. Once around the corner and as expected, we pretty much had our pick of the moorings so we’ve tied up opposite the Boathouse pub although we’re not planning to pay it a visit.
Once again it’s been a beautiful day, albeit a little windier than yesterday so again we sat on the front deck for a while and watched the boats go by. It’s been so busy with boats coming and going, some stopping temporarily, many just passing through but by five o’clock it’s starting to quieten down. Mooring here is the boating equivalent of pitching up a caravan on the hard shoulder of the M1 so after lunch on board we decided to go for a walk in the afternoon sunshine. We walked along the towpath past the marina and up to the third lock where the Admiral Nelson stands before turning back along the roadway up to Braunston village. After a stop at the village shop for a few essentials, we walked downhill to the canal and re-boarded our floating home where we took up residence on the front deck again. It’s been no surprise that the pub has been busy all afternoon on this sunny August Sunday and although there has been a constant background noise drifting over on the wind, it has all added to the ambience.