It was raining last night when we walked up the road to the Walnut Tree Inn, but it takes only about five minutes to get there from the moorings by Bridge 49. We ate in the restaurant part, and the food was excellent. We had a baked camembert to share as a starter, then Adrian had a ribeye steak from a local Northamptonshire farm, while I had liver which could possibly have come from the same animal. Even with a bottle of wine, the bill was quite reasonable.
It was raining harder when we walked back to the boat, and it continued on and off all night. It was raining when we set off at around 8.30 this morning. By comparison, Blisworth Tunnel seemed quite warm and dry. We passed one boat in the tunnel, which did the sensible thing and kept going; neither of us touched the wall or each other.
At Stoke Bruerne we went down two locks to the long pound and moored up, before walking back up to Kathryn's house -- one of the cottages by the museum. We looked like a pair of drowned rats, and then piled our wet coats etc on her living room floor (she insisted that the tiles with under floor heating would be able to cope!). She's done a remarkable job in rennovating the cottage, which is four floors with just one room on each floor. We were also treated to tea and scones, and were joined by Mike who runs the trip boat, Charlie.
Setting off again after a very enjoyable hour or so in Kathryn's company, we had to turn the first lock as a boat had just gone down, but they waited for us and we flew down the final four locks. It was pretty wet and miserable all the way.
We had a cup of soup to warm us up after the locks, then moored up again just before Bridge 57 for our second social event of the day: a couple of hours with Kath and Neil on Herbie. I think the Crick Show was the last time we saw them, so there was a bit of catching up to do. While we were there, the rain cleared and the sun came out, so that when we set off again it looked like a completely different day.
But there was still rain about. A very bright rainbow crossed the sky, and at times you could see the whole arc.
Neil and Kath had also considered making the most of the clear weather to move down to Cosgrove, so when we were moored up in the marina, it was no surprise to see them boating past.
We decided that we'd probably have a better journey home if we went a bit later, so we'll have an early dinner on board and then head off. It's been a really good weekend: yesterday was a very enjoyable day's boating and last night's meal was excellent; and we've caught up with old and new friends along the way. What's more, even just a couple of days on board feels like a decent break.
8.5 miles, 7 locks. (27 miles, 16 locks)