The first task of the day was to walk into town to Morrison’s which is one of the brand name supermarkets. It was a bit of a walk to get there but the larder was exhausted and as there are no supermarkets for us in the next three days it was a must do. Di went inside to do the shopping whilst Fras and Toque waited outside as they were needed to help carry the booty home – well, maybe not Toque.
As Di was going through the till the young chap said “yougotamorrie”. Initially Di thought he was talking in Welsh so she said pardon. He responded by saying “yougotamorrie”. Once again Di said pardon. He repeated it for a third time with even more incomprehension on Di’s part so she said “I use to drive a Morris Minor which was my first car” – the result was that he looked dumbfounded. It then clicked to Di that he was asking if she had a Morrison’s loyalty card. She was so tempted to say brmmm, brmmm but instead smiled sweetly at the pimply, oily faced youth and politely said “No I haven’t, son!”
Once back aboard and all groceries unloaded, we chugged off just across the canal to do water, elsan and rubbish. By now it was 1.00pm and we felt we deserved a coffee while we waited for the very slow hose to fill up the water tank. We just happened to be beside a lovely tea shop and popped in and got ourselves a coffee to go.
In the shop they had this great display of tea pots and it was certainly popular with the locals. It was also a museum and canal shop and we are in search of a few brass plaques which denote the canals we have been on this trip.
We are after the Regents Canal, Thames River, Kennet and Avon Canal and the Oxford Canal. We have already purchased a Grand Union canal plaque. We also want one of the Caen Hill flight as we also collect the seven wonders plaques. We have about 25 at home and eventually we will put a map of the canal system on a board and put the plaques around the map and it will go “straight to the pool room”.
It was such a magical day especially after last night when it absolutely poured solidly for two hours. We really didn’t expect to wake up to such a brilliant day of weather. Just in the last three days there has been a nip to the air in the morning and even when outside in the fine weather we are wearing our fleeces now.
A fleece is a very Canadian word for a jumper, sweater, pullover, jersey etc and an article of clothing that is going to come in very handy going forward.
Our plan initially was just to cruise for four hours which would put us in a position tomorrow for doing another four hours getting us to Wooten River which is just below where they have the locks closed off. This is because of water shortages and previous pumping issues. Pumping issues are resolved and now you have the opportunity to go through the locks to the summit on five of seven days in the week. When we came this way the locks were only opened two days a week so things have improved. Cruised passed our mate the Britton White Horse again. We would love to see what it is like when they turn it into a Zebra which they have done on April Fools day a few times.
It was very difficult to find a decent mooring after four hours and just as we had pulled up we looked at the weather forecast, which looks totally miserable tomorrow and decided to keep moving closer to Wooten River leaving us only an hour of cruising in the rain tomorrow.
We got to Pewsey and after a bit of trouble we found a mooring by tying up to another boat which was very kind of them. We wandered back to the Waterside pub for a drink. To look at it from the outside and inside it was by no means a particularly nice pub but had a great atmosphere. There were some locals but a lot of them there were live aboards and you could tell. They have this look of vagabond disrepair to them. We got talking to a few of them as Toque snuck off her mat and went around looking for pats.
We are now at the “x” closer to Reading and making good time. A little ahead of schedule which means we can spend a little more time between Reading and getting home. Everyone we have spoken to has told us how lovely this stretch is, so we would like to focus along here.
A video to wind up the blog of the saloon area of the boat. You will see just how comfortable we are and how well she is set up.