Saturday, 20 April 2019

Easter Cruise: Day 3

Another warm sunny day; we really have hit the jackpot this weekend.  We had a pretty lazy start to the day, and didn’t set off until 9am.  We went down Slapton Lock, and then started passing lots of canoeists.  There were even more at Church Lock, which is alongside what used to be the smallest chapel in Buckinghamshire, but it now a private house.

At Grove Lock, we were the fourth boat waiting to go down.  The first two said it was taking ages to fill the lock, which perhaps wasn’t surprising as they hadn’t opened the ground paddles.  One of the boat’s was turning below and coming back up.  When we were eventually down we continued through Leighton Buzzard, down Leighton Lock, and past the floating market by the Globe pub.  Past Old Linslade is another very attractive section of canal.

When we got to the top of the Soulbury Locks we moored up.  It was almost 1pm so we had lunch, then sat in the cratch reading in the sunshine.

At about 3 our visitors arrived.  My second cousin Catherine, husband Nigel, and kids Grace and Matthew, who live reasonably nearby.  Catherine had brought one of her legendary cakes, decorated for Easter by Grace, so we had tea and cake sitting on the towpath.

When a boat came up the locks we got ready to go down.  A widebeam which was coming up the middle lock decided to come out and wait in the short pound in between, and the current caused by the lock emptying send him into quite a spin.  A boat was also coming up the bottom lock, so we could do a swap with him.  All in all it meant we sped down the three locks.

We moored up at the bottom of the locks, and continued chatting and catching up.  We were booked for an early dinner at the Three Locks.  The bar was heaving thanks to the number of people sitting outside in the sunshine so we were glad we were in the restaurant part.  The food was ok without being spectacular.  We retired back to Briar Rose for drinks and more cake in lieu of dessert.

8 miles, 7 locks.  (32 miles, 17 locks)

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