Friday, September 21, 2012

Day 4

Thursday got off to a dull and windy start, but we had washing to do, so we didn't leave our mooring until after lunch. We could have run the washing machine while we were on the move, but we were feeling a little pessimistic, and didn't want to leave the washing machine to get on with its job unattended – just in case it decided to go wrong, and leak water into the boat! So we just ran the engine for an hour or so, and ran the generator – you know, the one with the history! – and played Scrabble.

Setting out as late as we did, we didn't go far. The canal continued to be very winding and narrow, and at bridge 122 the right-hand bend was so severe that Grace could not take Kantara around it without a bit of reversing. We moored just before bridge 123, over which ran a footpath to the little town of Priors Hardwick.
Before supper, I took a walk into the town, knowing it to be rather strange in that many of the houses there are uninhabited.

I can't discover why that is. They're not derelict, despite their years, they're just... empty! What's more, I walked through the town at around 5:00pm, and there was no-one around except a man I spoke with (who might have been the gardener responsible for the fabulously colourful gardens around a very expensive-looking house, or the retired rock star who owns it),
and one woman in her front garden with whom I exchanged greetings. The place was otherwise empty. I looked in at windows as I passed houses, and they all seemed to be empty.
The one hotel (there was no pub!) was strangely silent,
the church doors were open, but there was no-one there.
There was no shop. I almost expected someone to step out from nowhere and demand to know what I was doing there! It was very strange!

We seem to have the knack of finding really lovely places to moor overnight, although this is usually after cruising on for some time beyond when we would have liked to stop. It very often happens that the towing path is lined with all sorts of plant life along the water side, making mooring difficult at best. Or the bank is too narrow to use mooring pins without them obstructing the path of walkers. Or the bank has been reinforced with bags of cement which render the use of mooring pins impossible. Thursday's mooring was at the first stretch of "armco" we came to, and proved to be the most remote, peaceful spot we have ever chosen.

Armco - well, that's what we call it!
The hook we use to moor onto the Armco

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