Sunday, 20 May 2012

Lots of Miles Covered

Apologies to all for the lack of blogs over the last couple of days, lots has happened so here's the update.

On Thursday James and I decided Friday would be the day to move on, but as usual having plans just means things go wrong!!  Thursday we had a trip into Rugby town, had a look around and picked up a few supplies to keep us going, we did cheat as still having the Bongo and parking so close we took advantage. We got back to LJ at about 2pm and the plan was to have a quick bite to eat then move the Bongo up to Hawkesbury Junction, ready for us to get up there on Friday, but .....  unfortunately there seemed to be a problem with Lois Janes' generator.  Now being a 'gas free' boat we need to run the generator to get the hob and oven working - with them being too high power for the battery bank, so instead of taking the Bongo upto Hawkesbury James spent the afternoon trying to sort the generator, unfortunately it's still not working and we will need to find out if it's an electrical fault or mechanical fault and I think the only way to find that out is to get onto a marina and get electric hookup. We are still able to cook and heat water on top of our wood burning stove, which also burns coal but we can't get that free!

Anyway back to the plan - with Thursday afternoon gone we decided it was up early on Friday move the Bongo, cycle back to LJ and then make our way to Hawkesbury.  This all went incredible well bearing in mind it was over a nine mile cycle back from the Bongo to the boat! (This is a lot for us). So now it was time for us and LJ to get going, we needed to stop to fill up with water as this was now getting low, so we did this at the first one we came to just outside Brinklow at Stretton Stop.  As usual it's my job to sort the hose and start the tank filling, from previous experience we know some water taps to be very slow running and so far we had been lucky and must have picked the few good high pressure ones - not this time though! I thought I would take advantage and run a quick washing load so it could be filling as I was using therefore still leaving a virtually full tank after filling.  After about 15 minutes I did a quick check to see how full it was and was surprised it was still only about a quarter full, so as it was about lunch time I made a sandwich and cup of tea and finally after about an hour we were able to continue our journey. At about 4pm we stopped as James wanted to make a phone call about the generator, as it turns out as we were in quite a nice place and Hawkesbury Junction only about a mile or so away we tied up properly and stayed the night.  

On Saturday, as we were burning a lot more wood due to lack of hob and oven and it being our only way of cooking, we put the bike trailer together and walked down the towpath as we were lucky enough to have a few trees around near where we moored. We got two trailer loads and spent the afternoon sawing, chopping and splitting the wood then storing it all neatly in the bow. Our plan was then to move LJ up closer to the junction as there is a lovely pub there which we had always said we would go back to and treat ourselves. Hawkesbury Junction holds fond memories for both James and I as when we hired Sarah-Louise we went up that way and it was the first lock I worked then straight after the lock the Oxford Canal joins the Coventry and to go the way we wanted to up the Coventry it is a U turn, as the canals run parallel for about half a mile - James did this quite well in Sarah-Louise, but I have to say it was an excellent manoeuvre in Lois Jane, he even got a round of applause from the spectators, with one shouting out that he was jealous - guess he didn't manage it as well as James! Whilst all this was going on a family of swans came by, Mum, Dad and six cygnets, they couldn't have been very old and were very cute - little grey balls of fluff.  It was very busy for moorings here as we thought it would be, it's very popular, so by the time we moored up it was off with the bikes as it was about a mile back to the pub and after such a busy day we couldn't miss out on our pint along with pie and chips.

Work in progress
So today, Sunday, it was up and out before 7am as we needed to get rid of our bags of rubbish, which had built up as there doesn't seem to be too many rubbish stops along the way and we also needed to check on the Bongo, so out with the trailer again and with the rubbish tied securely it was off for a mile or so to the rubbish point.  A quick check of the Bongo and all ok, it was back to LJ and head up to the Ashby canal to meet up with family on Tuesday, really looking forward to it Mum, John and Jess.  So here we are three miles up the Ashby which is a lovely rural canal, certainly as described in the books, and just chilling out after a lovely meal prepared in advance by James - he got the idea from a Troglodite cave restaurant we visited a few years ago in France - I'm sure you'll remember it Jess.

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