I have now made the trek up the locks of the Stratford Canal, to Kingswood Junction, and have made the turn to the Grand Union Canal. I stayed last night at the jounction, (underneath a train bridge- had to stop there as I arrive later in the afternoon, and there was rain, wind, no other moorings away from the tracks.) Sounds like a disaster, but really, the trains are MUCH quieter than any I have experienced in Canada, and they really weren’t running much through the night, though 5am was the start of the commuter run!
It was a spectacular morning, a little mist on the water, brilliant blue sky and absolutely calm. Started out towards the Hatton Flight of locks, and a wee tunnel to get there. All good: a spectacular autumn morning. Just before the locks, stopped for a bit to eat, and then the exercise started. The Hatton locks are wide locks, with huge gates each weighing about 2 tonnes. Karen wanted to do locks (she is a fitness person as well as a travel expert), and insisted upon doing the work. There was a volunteer lock keeper that assists people getting through the 21 locks, and initially Karen insisted on doing the work all herself. After a couple, she relented somewhat, and the keep assisted by preparing the locks ahead (EVERY one was set against us).
After 4h we finished, and arrived in Warwick, where we found a mooring just at the head of the Saltisford Arm where we had stayed with Nick and Chris earlier in the journey. Just as we tied up, the heavens opened and there had a serious shower. An hour later, Karen and I went into Warwick to see the sights and get some provisions. She shopped, I looked for a camera store, and we are going to explore Warwick Castle tomorrow. Pictures are promised! Moored next to us is a couple the we had encountered on a lock or two on the Kennet and Avon Canal, early in the summer. They have a unique boat that they are painting lemon yellow and pinky-purple. There is a big sunny smiley face on the stern doors. Very distinctive, and they were immediately all agog in encountering the Wandering Canuck again, after almost 2 months. The canals are such a small community, and that is one of the best aspects of the system.