Well, as predicted the weather was wild. Holding the boat in a straight line was difficult and then throw in heavy, horizontal bursts of rain and mayhem occurs on the canals. The boat bounced around a bit last night but not enough to worry us.
We left our mooring near the Avoncliff Aqueduct at 10.00am which was a leisurely start which we can now do going forward. We should only have to do on average, four hours of cruising per day to get us back to our end point. This means we can inspect the inside of our eyelids for a slightly longer period. So far, this holiday has seen us up by 7.30am most mornings and going by 8-8.30am to be able to remain on schedule.
We only putted down the canal for an hour to Bradford on Avon where we had booked in for tea and cake at 12 midday. Some of you may remember the above photo we took on our way through here about a week ago. We arrived too late to have afternoon tea here before so made an extra effort to be on time today. Amazing that they encouraged you to bring your dog in.
So after partaking of tea and scones we then went looking for a barber for Fraser who was starting to look like the Wild Man from Borneo. Having accomplished that task it was then a bit of light shopping and to head off back to the boat for further meandering down the canal.
We have mostly shown photos of unusual boats but today it is a plethora of old junkers. You will just have to believe us when we say that people do live on these little treasures.
These are by no means the worst we have seen in our travels.
Every four years your boat has to have a very comprehensive safety check by a certified inspector and it just amazes us how these ones would possibly pass the inspections.
Once back on board we very, very slowly went down the canal as we were following a stream of hire boats that had just launched themselves from the Hilperton marina. It was very tough conditions for newby boaters to be out in so we kept a very safe distance. What distance should have taken us three hours took us four hours. We pulled in along the towpath in the middle of a rural area and got undercover just in time for the heavens to open up on us.
We are on pins tonight which we would prefer we were not but there are no rings or other secure mooring apparatus for us to attach to. There is concern that strong winds can pull the pins out and we end up in the middle of the canal during the night. We use this technique where we cross the pins by inserting one through the eyelet of another at cross angles from one another. Let’s hope this works!!
The wind continues to howl but the sun is now out. We have been pulled up her since 5.00pm and we have had a lot of hire boaters going passed us plus there are many moored boats up in front of us going in our direction so our guess is that everyone is trying to be at the bottom of the Caen Hill Locks for Monday morning. If that is the case, it is going to be a very busy day!!!!