We were away by 8am, soon passing under the M25 link road, and then the M25 proper. Although we've done this section twice, both times have been in the opposite direction -- and you see different thing when you're going the other way, like the dinosaur at King's Langley, which is hidden by bushes when you're travelling south.
At Nash Mills, they've done quite a lot of work on the latest stage of the housing development since we passed in August. Then there was no more on the waterside than a few concrete columns.
There are lots of locks along this stretch, but at least quite a few are grouped together, with two or three at a time. We worked a few of these mini flights each. We stopped at the water point at Apsley and filled the tank to the brim. Boxmore Lock was where we stopped on the way down in August. There are views of the different ages of Hemel Hemptead, as demonstrated by its buildings.
At Fishery Lock, a boat was preparing to come down; Adrian had just made lunch, and we had time to eat it while we waited. At Winkwell Swing Bridge, I pressed the buttons, but held up only one car.
At Top Side Lock there's a rennovated lock cottage, which has a very nice extension which they were building when we came this way three years ago. There's a glass linking section to separate the new and the old.
At the same lock, we saw a squirrel doing a high level run along a telephone wire, then sit at the top of the pole. Then another followed.
We did the three more locks up into Berkhamstead, and moored in the pound by Waitrose. We've done 23 locks today which have raised us just over 146 feet. And there are still 7 locks before we reach the summit.
10 miles, 23 locks. (245 miles, 178 locks)