Wednesday, October 10, 2012

2000 plus

----- that is, miles we have covered since starting to  continuously cruise - 2010 miles to be exact since March 28, 2010.

The 20 miles this last week have been from Kilbey Bridge to Foxton Locks Flight plus the 11 miles to and from Market Harborough along the arm which goes off at bottom of Foxton flight.    It’s really been one of those “Bonus” weeks with the lovely autumn sunshine, although we are now resigned to the fact that the fire is in permanently now as the evenings and nights are definitely cold enough to want it!

Arrived at bottom of Foxton flight last Saturday to hoards of folks milling around.   This flight is a certain tourist attraction because of the locks and also the fact that there was an inclined plane here to bypass the locks which was opened in 1900 and closed in 1911.   Loads more info is to be found here .  In a nutshell it is two staircases of five locks each with a passing pound in the middle.    They are single locks filled and emptied into side pounds.  You have to remember the ditty “red before white and you’re alright” as you go up or down.   That is you always deal with the (painted) red paddle before the (painted) white one.   The locks are always supervised by one or more (at busy times) lock-keeper/s who you have to report to before you can enter the top or bottom lock.

However, before we negotiate Foxton Locks, we went down the arm to Market Harborough.   A pleasant enough trip with a very big basin at the terminus.   Hireboat base for Canaltime boats and a couple of Alevchurch boats.   The visitor moorings are on the towpath but very dark and gloomy and there was no spaces as we went by.   A man and woman from the hireboat company told us we could moor anywhere except in one corner which was reserved for Alevchurch boats.    So, Dai manoeuvred into a corner “plot” which was all very nice expect that we could only tie off back and side - consequently every time we moved a muscle on the boat, we banged like crazy against the side (luckily wood-planked) and no way could we alleviate this by using fenders.    There is electricity available to plug into but we had full batteries so didn’t need to do this.   

We walked up into the town about 10 minutes away which appeared to be quite prosperous (no boarded up shops for a change!) with a big Sainsburys, smaller Tesco, Aldi and Wilkos.   Some non-chain shops too which was interesting to wander amongst.  Market day is Tues, Fri and Sat so we missed that delight.    

Early Tuesday morning Dai took Foxxie for morning constitutional and saw there were 2 free moorings so we quickly went over to the Services to water up, loo and rubbish out.  Would you believe it, by the time we had done, 2 boats came and turned in the basin and then moored in “our” mooring!!    So, to cut a long story short, we ended up last night back at Foxton without supplying up and no supermarkets for ages!!   Ah well, will have to live out of the store cupboard for a bit.  No harm done - we have some tins (corned beef, tuna, salmon) that have been on Jandai as long as us, so we won’t starve!!   can get basics at the shop at bottom of locks but Dai will have to do the buying cos I bet he'll need his credit card to buy even a litre of milk and, as you know from previous postings, it breaks my heart to pay above £1 for milk!

We are now staying put until our friends Roger and Pat arrive (probably Friday) on thecatswhiskersnb so I’ll keep you all in suspensers and post photos of Foxton flight next week!
Since last blog we have done … 20 miles and 12 locks  
Total since Setting Off ….. 2010 miles and  1631 locks

a Bonus Day in Autumn, so I got my
washing dry outside (apart from knickers of course -
can't have them flapping about with so many tourists around!)
village store located in the old Skittle Alley
of the Black Horse pub in Foxton 
you don't see this very often nowadays
A weighing machine at entrance to a property in Foxton
(see the weights hanging on post)
great statute on towpath above Foxton Locks
(with sign asking you not to sit on the horse!)
taster for next week's photos!
"Restore the Inclined Plane" society museum by
Foxton Locks.  £3.50 entry fee per adult to see a
working model of the inclined plane and mock-up
of Boatman's Cabin

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