Saturday, 23 May 2015

It's an urban jungle out there!

Thursday 21st May to Friday 22nd May 2015

Our time in Paddington Basin was drawing to a close - we were due to leave on Friday, but not before Diane had one last foray into London, leaving me on the boat to complete some work and deal with the lengthy list of things to do whilst she was out - it amazes me that we have travelled halfway around the world and some things don't change.

She was off to see a mattinee performance of The Phantom of the Opera (her favourite) and having already seen it in Melbourne, Sydney and NewYork, London was about to be added to the list.
 
Ready for the action


might have to try this

yet another Shaun the sheep

and yet another Phantom, performance

a sneaky inside shot

Under normal circumstances we would have both gone but I had more pressing issues.

The list that was left included a visit to Waitrose for a few things and whilst not written down there was the little matter of fitting the navigation lights.

Pleased to say that by day's end and Diane's return, the list was completed.

We were just having a cuppa when a rattle at the back signified Tone's return from a long day for him at The Ivor Novello Awards where he was the sound engineer - it had involved a very early morning start and he was ready for a chance to wind down.
So we finished our tea and met he and Julie at The Royal Exchange along with his colleague David and another guy Gavin.

We ended up back at SeeSushi for dinner and finally at a not too late hour back onboard our boats for some much needed rest for all of us.

Friday was a day for new waterways, as we were heading down to Limehouse along The Regents Canal.
Firstly, though, it was time to empty a couple of cassettes and fill the water tank - all of which took just over an hour.
I did have a chance to renew conversations with the guy renovating the services block and chat about all things - and along the way picked up some of cuts for a new splashback for the kitchen.

Anyway, with tanks appropriately full or empty (as required) we headed off and onto Regents Canal; we would wait further along for Julie and Tone to come along, and so it was that we pulled over at Primrose Hill for about 10 minutes whilst they caught up after seeing off friends.
In that short space of time we managed to meet a older Australian couple who were here for a couple ofweeks after spending 4 weeks in Belgium and France and were also from Melbourne - WE ARE EVERYWHERE - scary isn't it?
 
just a collection of scenes along the Regents Canal







London Zoo aviary

This fellow was not in the zoo



Almost disaster at Bridge 14 - one minute it was clear and next it wasn't 

All of the locks down to the basin are double-locks, so easier to share and to share with good people that you know.
Along the way we came across others in front, as happens, who have different time frames for getting through the locks, but there were no problems.


I think just an extra pint in the fridge wouldsuffice





Artist at work


a slide with a difference

new CRT mooring at ₤6000 a year in London - a bit steep for some...



but after all good mooring are getting harder to find



Qunitessential Tone - beer,something to eat, cap and that fire

Limehouse Basin - with the big boys now

It did end up being a long sort of day but with 24 lock-miles, it probably wasn't going to be anything else.

Mooring up was not really a  problem, with both boats breasting up to others - for us, the people on nb Gertrude were not aboard, but at dinner it Limehouse Cruising Club, the  owner found us and he was perfectly OK - only concerned that his 5:30am start might disturb us.
The Friday Happy Hour photo

After dinner we simply went out and swapped the position of each boat, with us closest to the wall.
As it was a fairly nicenight - even a little on the warmer side, compared to what we had been used to, and so we decided to have a bit of a walk around the area.
As we were walking around we then thought about finding the pub called The Grapes which happens to be ownedby Sir Ian McKellen.
Not expecting to see him at all, we were not disappointed - it was really the pub that we wanted to see - we can now mark it off in our book of Londons Waterside Pubs.
Whilst having a drink, what we didn't expect was what was behind the bar.
Whether or not it was the original (or one of them), was the Staff used by Gandalf in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

The Grapes


The Staff behind the bar



Actually we had just been sitting at the bar having a drink when a tourist came up to photograph it - we had just been sitting there and didn't even realise that it was right there.

One drink was enough and we headed back to the boat ready for the adventure that a newday would bring to us.


12 Miles, 12 Locks, 2 Tunnels
YTD: 348 Miles, 192 Locks, 8 Tunnels, 2 Lift Bridges, 11 Swing Bridges

Totals: 3242 Miles, 2313 Locks, 106 Tunnels, 36 Lift Bridges, 162 Swing Bridges