Saturday 18th February to Thursday 23rd February 2017
Our intentions for the Saturday were to cruise down to Leamington Spa, doing the 10 locks that separated us and then mooring up around near the new(ish) Lidl store; after which we were heading into the town to have lunch.
Firstly, the previous day (Friday) we had been wondering where Tom and Jan (nb Waiouru) might have been – we knew that they were heading out of Leamington Spa but we hadn’t seen them – a message to them had not been answered (seems we have the wrong number for them) – lo and behold, we had gone no more than a couple of hundred metres and there they were – moored on the other side of Bridge 25 – they weren’t there when we looked the previous afternoon – well we’ll see them again somewhere (too early to wake them – and Tom needs his beauty sleep).
We carried on and came to the staircase locks – the pound below them was well down, but I thought we might have a chance to get through with the lockfull of water that came down with us – just not quite enough, so Diane let some water through and we were floating again in less than 5 minutes, and the water level had come right up in 10 minutes.
It was about Lock 17, and we had been alternating working the locks and steering the boat, when Diane encountered the heavy locks mechanisms – they are all hydraulic but some are harder than others – she managed to get this one done, but at Lock 19 it was too much and she pleaded … well it was something that sounded remarkably like “It’s your turn for the next 5 locks, I’m gonna steer” – “No problems my lovely, my heart’s joy”.
A few years ago in Australia, there was an ad on TV which basically went along the lines of a guy watching a rugby game and giving one of the players a hard time for not being strong enough in the play, using the phrase “You’re a whimp Wilson”; before experiencing the strength of a well known brand of extra strong cough lozenges and so the phrase has stuck in the psyche.
Remarkably it also came to mind at that point of giving up for my darling wife whom I simply adore, but “You’re a ……..!!”
We made it through the remaining locks, along the way emptying the cassette at
and onto the
moorings at Lidl – bloody full, except for one length where we couldn’t get the
boat in due to some underwater obstruction. Fosse
We had never stayed in Leamington Spa before and wanted to see the town, having heard how lovely it was and to investigate a recommended eating place.
Anyway, after a bit of frustration on my part – I was probably exhausted from those heavy locks – we eventually found the moorings outside Tesco – 24 hour moorings (but it is winter).
No problems getting in and we were done.
Well almost, just the small matter of the 2.4km walk into the centre of town. Since most of our work that morning was with our arms, the legs were still fresh and supple (yeah right!), but we found it a nice walk anyway.
Why the need to go? Diane had read on a blog from Jo and Keith (nb Hadar) about the buffet lunch at Oriental Star and they had good ratings on TripAdvisor plus we fancied a nice Chinese buffet.
I have to say it was worth the effort and we would certainly go back there again.
|lovely decor - you could have seen more but Diane was in the way|
After lunch we did manage to have a bit of a look around the central part of the town; we found the Tourist Information office and also a nice Heritage Trail walk to do (that would have to wait for tomorrow).
The usual effect after having a chinese meal is that 20 minutes after you finish you are hungry again – not with this one.
The following morning we were up and out fairly early; again with the walk into the centre of Leamington Spa and armed with the map.
This is something that we like to do to get an idea about a new place we visit and gives Diane a chance to direct me around and tell me about all of the interesting sights and things that have gone on to create this town/city wherever we are and I enjoy listening to her voice, when it is not directed at me for something that I have done wrong.
|some lovely wide streets around here...|
|...and lovely houses...|
|...and more lovely hosues|
|This was the older part of Leamington Spa - where it all began|
|The weir - just down from here (on the right), visiting circus' used to walk |
their elephants and other animals to bath and wash them
|What's a town without a large church - this one? All Saints C of E.|
|Tasting the waters - don't - it tastes foul and you need coffee|
to wash the taste away.
|We had never heard of these two tennis players from the late 19th century,|
but the Renshaw twins were born in Leamington Spa and both achieved
No. 1 status in their chosen sport.
So we had a lovely stroll around and found places that you do not normally see; had a great time exploring and finished off with breakfast at ‘Spoons.
We didn’t make it back to the boat until after 1pm but in time to see the FA Cup match between Spurs and Fulham; also a chance to rest after two days of walking and exercising - getting too old for all of this.
One of the consequences of the mooring spot where we where, was the fact that it was just a short 1.8km walk in the other direction and into Warwick which we undertook on Monday – after I had finished most of the work that I needed to get done; we also found Warwick Station (just 20 minutes away) – Diane is off into Birmingham on Tuesday.
We have been to Warwick a few times previously; seen the Castle and most other things, but never seen St.Mary’s church, so that took up a large chunk of our time in the town.
Down into the crypt, around the general church area, but one of us (and I am sure it wasn’t me) thought that we should also see the view from the top of the tower – and there is a charge to knacker yourself by climbing all of those stairs (160 up and the same coming down) – a very tight circular staircase.
But, I do have to say that the views were worth it; the wind however was pretty strong; after about 20 minutes we made our way down and then we both needed a caffeine fix.
|After climbing all those steps, it would have been easy to have been |
blown away - luckily the bars prevented us going anywhere
|but the views were fantastic - that is Warwick Castle..|
|...and the Keep|
|stretching out to the horizon (as all photos do)|
|As ever - we almost never pass an open church without|
lighting a candle(s) for Lauren - all our love for you
|This shop name took Diane's fancy - not sure why|
|It pays to read the signs - for this mail box we read that|
it was a different design to others - that which is typical
of many Greek columns
Finally and thankfully, it was a shorter downhill walk back to the boat from here than on Saturday and after a quick shop at Tesco we relaxed again inside.
We finally moved along a bit and moored up in
– well at the bottom of the hill – a bit along from the Cape
and close to the Hatton flight, which will be our next nemesis.
The weather seems to be much improved on how it has been over the previous 3 weeks with overnight temperatures holding up, even above 5 most nights now; there is a definite spring feel in the air; snowdrops are starting to appear and the birds are chirping away quite excitedly now.
Spring may indeed be coming but we still had time for Storm Doris to make an appearance on Thursday – we stayed put where we were and fortunately nothing more than some wild wind and a bit of rocking of the boat ensued.
We did venture up into the town during the day – just to stretch our legs a bit and for a coffee.
Bit of a pity that where we were moored – just around from the bottom of the locks meant that we have no TV signals, but the internet was fine, so we could stream what we needed to watch.
10 Miles, 12 Locks
YTD: 70 miles (112 km), 33 Locks, 2 Tunnels, 2 Swing Bridges
Total: 4702 Miles (7554 km), 3184 Locks, 126 Tunnels, 66
Lift Bridges, 174 Swing Bridges