Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Christmas Cruise - Day 5

I arrived at the boat at around 8pm last night. I got the 1903 train from Euston, and pulled into Rugby station 47 minutes later. I wish my commute to work was that quick. I got a taxi to Tesco, and Adrian met me with a torch so we could see our way along the muddy towpath. It turned out we had visitors on board too: a couple of Adrian's colleagues, Nicola and Alex, who'd been working at the Warwick office, had come over to Rugby to have a look at the boat. It was lovely to see them.

This morning, the boat was nice and warm -- the fire had stayed in, and was easy to get roaring again. After porridge, we prepared for the off, and had a chat to Dot from Gypsy Rover moored over on the park side. We slipped away just before nine, in grey drizzly conditions. We were soon at Hilmorton Locks, where we passed Hadar on the water point, and shouted greetings to Jo and Keith. The right hand lock was empty, so we went straight in. I then noticed that Hadar was heading out way, so lifted a paddle on the other lock. Eventually, we got to the stage where we were going up side by side.

Going up the locks gave us a great opportunity to chat to Jo and Keith, and it was nice to meet them having followed their blog for so long. Once at the top of the locks, we let Hadar pass us, as they were clearly going quicker than us.

We got to Braunston at around 12.30, and moored just before the turn. We walked up into the village, and (as the Gongoozler's Rest is closed for Christmas) went to the Old Plough for lunch -- very good baguettes with bacon (for me) and sausage and onion (for Adrian). Then it was along to the butcher to pick up our stuffed turkey breast. This must be one of the most famous turkey breasts around this Christmas, as everyone keeps asking us about it! It fitted in the fridge OK, and I think it will go in the oven, with space for veg.

We set off again just after 2pm, and carried on for almost an hour to a mooring spot we've used several times at Bridge 101. We've never stayed here facing in this direction, though! We know this mooring will be dark and quiet (neither of which could be said for the one in Rugby). A few boats have been past since we stopped, including Gosty Hill, the coal and diesel boat.

12 miles, 3 locks. (40 miles, 9 locks)

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