Thursday, 4 May 2017

Through Warwick and Leamington

It's Star Wars day – May the Fourth be with you!

Yesterday did indeed pass peaceably with another trip to the town centre for me and two for Sheila. She finally got her hair cut very reasonably at Hair Art of Warwick.

Today, I popped up to Sainsbury's first thing to get a fresh loaf and some more tomatoes, then we settled our debts at the office and set off, Sheila steering round the slightly tricky turn out of the arm onto the mainline heading west. The GU between Napton and Birmingham was originally two separate canals, the Warwick and Napton and the Warwick and Birmingham. This latter ended at Saltisford, the arm being the bit that wasn't needed when it was joined to the route to Napton. Between them, they provided an alternative route to London from the West Midlands by joining the Oxford Canal at Napton.

The Oxford in turn met the Grand Junction at Braunston and eventually, the GJ bought out the smaller canals to create a route which avoided the Thames, still rather undeveloped for long distance carrying at the time, and the whole shebang became the Grand Union.

Meantime, we worked down the last two downhill locks at the Cape and chugged off along the sump pound. The moorings at Tesco, just on the Warwick side of the Avon Aqueduct, were mainly occupied by two rather scruffy looking boats, but we managed to get on the far end by dint of tying the bow to a tree. We then went and did a serious shop, just managing to load it all into the daysacks and a collection of reusable bags and staggering back with it to the boat.

It was now 11 o'clock, so I made us coffees and Sheila got going again whilst I stowed the booty. There is a Lidl by Bridge 44 and there's said to be a Sainsbury's by Bridge 43 but Sheila says she saw no sign of it. Then there is a Morrisons between 42 and 41, but on the other side of a busy road, so carrier bags would still be needed.

Sump pound is the best description for the bit through Leamington, I fear, though more housing is appearing in amongst the industry. Mind you, we're a bit biased as the only time we were late returning a hire boat was when we found a body floating in the cut on our way back to Kate Boats. It was a little old lady who had presumably tumbled in and of course the police kept us hanging around for a while to take statements.

We've tied on one of our favourite spots by Radford Semele, a good bit of towpath with fields in view in all directions. Although it's breezy, the sun's out, we've been sitting outside and I got all our scavenged wood sawn up. This means we probably won't need the fire again before September...

Tomorrow, we start the climb up out of the Avon valley.

Location:Radford Semele


Dave Wagg said...

Still love reading your blog Bruce!
Glad your trip is going well
Take care

Bruce in Sanity said...

Thanks Dave!