Wednesday, 16 April 2014

More goodbyes - and on to Coventry

Friday 11th April to Wednesday 16th April 2014

One could almost think that summer is just an inch around the corner, such has been the weather lately - the air is still a bit chilly in the morning, but the sun on your back or on your face is such a delightful change to the cold that we are now leaving behind.

The cruising is just so much better.

After leaving Polesworth we ventured down toward Atherstone where we moored up between Locks 5 and 6 - the long pond in Atherstone.

A wander through the town showed up two more pubs that had closed down including The King's Head right on the canal.

The Red Lion - in the Library - you gotta love a pub with a library
A bit of shopping and not a lot else was our lot for here.

We left just at the right time the following morning - all of the locks were in our favour and we just breezed through them and then continued the pleasant cruising through to just after The Anchor Inn and moored up just after Bridge 27.

showing her skills at stepping across the lock - as she has been
doing for quite a while now.

Spring is here

We are very much trying to increase the level of exercise each day and we now try to spend at least an hour a day walking - to that end we found a nearby public footpath which wended it's way through some farmland and around others - around about 5-6km - it is easy to see why people can engross themselves by this pasttime.

across the fields...

...beautiful scenery as well...

...a picturesque bridge on the trail...

...more evidence of spring.

through the canola (rape seed) fields

Yes dear - the pub is near.
We certainly enjoyed this so much that we decided to have a pitstop at The Anchor - I am pretty well certain that Diane, after reading the menu, has decided that we need to stop nearby on one a couple of mid-week days on the return trip.

Another earlyish start and we "breezed" through Nuneaton - keeping a lookout for the state of the towpath and gladly seeing it free of little (and big) canine calling cards. This has been a curse around the Nuneaton area - so maybe there has been some council activity to clean up the act of all dog owners.

Onward further to Hawkesbury Junction where we stopped for water and to warn away potential moorers in a prime spot - well at least we cleared Dot and Gordon away -they moored further up.

Sunday lunch was the order of day for the four of us - as a final final final goodbye.

An afternoon of games and some drinking and eating followed lunch and when we were all exhausted it seemed appropriate to part ways and everyone was back in their own boats - the end of a fun-filled day and a perfect was to say farewell.

Up early and saying the final goodbyes and D&G were away - one very notable sight was Gordon disappearing below decks consigning Dot to cruising away at the helm -well done Dot (and well done Gordon)!

We had long contemplated finishing the Coventry Canal at - well Coventry, but we usually turned left at Hawkesbury Junction onto the Oxford. This time we went straight ahead and 2 hours later and without any problems we moored up in Coventry basin.

Cash's Hundred Houses

Coventry Canal Basin - moorings are on the right
It seems a little drab, but all-in-all it is pleasant.

After some lunch, we indulged our new activity of walking and seeing some of the city.

The cathedral, the Guild Hall, museum and a few other bits and pieces - not too bad for an afternoon.

the open-air cathedral - preserved as it was, following
the bombing during WWII

The Guild Hall - main hall

part of the tapestry commemorating HenryVI - specially commissioned
for the main hall

The old meeting room

note the slope of the floor (see line of stonework at far end)

The room supposedly in which Mary, Queen of Scots was
imprisoned during her stay in Coventry - the two chairs on the
right are slightly later additions

main hall - note the ceiling

Our second day in Coventry showed us a different side to the city.

After getting a few things done to the boat - namely reblacking the starboard side; affixing the new horn and casting off some rusty chains (yes, Diane has unchained me from the table) - we were off.

Firstly we visited the Transport Museum in the city centre.

The recent history of the city (i.e. the last 100 years) revolves around the motor car and its development and production and here all in one place is a unique walk through time and the transition of the car and the transition of the city.

We also wanted to find the market area and on our way there we found part of the city that was much brighter and seemed more alive - but it still is just a city.

After a bit of a sit down and relaxing cuppa, I headed back to the boat but Diane had a new lease of life and need to get her 10000 steps done - all of which happened for her in Ikea.

As usual she found it hard to resist opening the purse for the credit card, and when she finally returned a few hours later she was pretty tired - there had also been a detour via Spon Street where a number of medieval houses have been relocated.

She was not too tired that the sight of the boat could help but inspire her to wash it - whilst the male crew was left to cater for the hungry skipper outside hovering over a hot soapy sponge.

We sat down to dinner and noticed an influx of mainly men coming along with model remote-controlled boats - the aquatic version of model railway a_____ks.

I did go out to get some photos and chatted with one of them - it is the Coventry Model Boat Club and they bring the boats out every third Tuesday - weather permitting.

They were having fun and not bothering anyone - good luck to them!

Wednesday arrived and Diane had had a burning desire to black the port side; so preparations were made that we would move the boat across to get said blacking done.

But wait, the now washed starboard side still looked a bit tatty - a spot of polishing would do the trick.

Fortunately for me I was excused as I had more other work to do.

Polishing done; boat was moved; skipper started with her blacking; crew disposed of rubbish and completed Elsan duties and commenced wash cycle for the laundry; then we were off - as far as the water point barely 100m away.

Eventually with sun shining brightly and warmly on our backs we got the revs up and headed northwards, only stopping at Bridge 8 to raid Tesco and replenish the bulging galley.

Finally past Hawkesbury Junction we had had enough by Wen Brook and moored up for the day.

This was until very recently and old run down, closed-down pub.
Someone bought the building and transformed it into a magnificent home.
Just next to Bridge 14

not close enough for a lot of detail,
but our first photograph of a kingfisher
Diane reclined on the new chair outdoors - coffee supplied; I was inside finishing off the day's work.

Finally, to Elaine and Paul (previously nb Caxton), who today cease to be water-based and have now moved back to the land - our love goes with you on your travels; and until we catch up again soon, drive carefully and safely.

27 Miles, 11 Locks

Totals: 2293 Miles, 1682  Locks, 75 Tunnels, 32 Lift Bridges, 146 Swing Bridges

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