Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Boating on the Kennet and Avon Canal

Mick has invited his sister and her partner for a few days boating. He picked them up at Bath yesterday and they plan to boat to Devizes and back. I had a few things to do so I agreed to cycle and and meet them today. I headed up the Bristol to Bath cycle path then crossed Bath before picking up the canal towpath on the other side of the city. The towpath meaders to Bradford-on-Avon and its a bit bumpy but at least its flat. The alternative would have been to cycle over the hill to the south of Bath, a busy road and lots of traffic.

By the time I caught up with them, they were mooring up at Bradford-on-Avon, so no boating today, Damn!
"Never mind," said Mick, "You've arrived just in time for your favourite job."
"Oh no," I said, "that's not fair. None of it is mine!"
"Aw, come on Latrine Girl," he wheedled. "You know you want to."

Luckily Vince has, in the twenty-four hours that he has been boating, completely fallen in love with it and was keen to experience all the elements of life on the canal.

"I'll do it!" he said eagerly.

Mick and I stared at him in disbelief.

"Blimey, that's a first," said Mick eventually. "No one has ever offered before."

As Vince staggered off, laden with three full porta-potties on a pair of sacktrucks, Mick stared after him.

"I can't let him deal with all that shit on his own," he said. "I'd better give him a hand."

They went off to empty the toilets at the facilty which was above the lock. They were gone for ages.

"Maybe they went to the pub on the way back'" said Val. I thought this unlikely, after all they were trailing three smelly toilets with them.

When they finally got back we wandered into Bradford-on-Avon and bought fish and chips which we ate in the park next to the river. A swan was nesting on one of the struts under the bridge, we could see three grey fluffy cygnets peeping out from under her wings as she sat placidly, whilst her mate chased off unwelcome visitors. In the middle of the river a moorhen had set up nest on some reeds which had wedged mid-stream. We hoped that no heavy rain was due, or she may have found herself unexpectedly relocated to Bath.

This was narrowboat John Damsell's route today: here

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