Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Left to our own Devizes maybe

Got the camera SD card working again.  Not sure what happened but a format and it seems ok now.  Must get another one just to be on the safe side.

With boats moored all along the canal ahead we reach the outskirts of Devizes.  Any number of the houses that back onto the canal have made something of the canal as a feature.  Still a few that haven't been touched for years and one or two that have just been left for ever as a wilderness.  Nice not to see the steep banks used a dumping ground as it is in some places.

Moored up within sight of the first of the six locks before the Caen flight.  Haven't made a decision yet on what we will do in the immediate future.  

The Avon was still in flood and the culvert was reportedly worse than first thought with several leaks not just one.  Its going to be at least till the end of the month before we can get underway for Bristol.

The Skip arrives at the wharf.  Looking very tidy but a little bit on the slow side. He did pull over and let me pass.  One of the few times I have overtaken anyone and even then I was not a great deal faster.

Off for a wander around Devizes.

A rather nice covered market that wasnt used to its full potential I thought.

Further into the town and the square is used as a car park and looks like a car park first and square second. Felt quite odd.

Fine old buildings and a brewery at the end of the road.  Wadworths and I did manage to try the 6x.

The moorings to the right and the Wharf Theatre to the left. Several hire and trust boats tend to be moored near the theatre and the Kennet and Avon Trust have a shop next to the boat in the foreground.

On May 13th went to the Wharf Theatre to see Two Gentlemen of Verona.  The dog stole the show it was so well behaved.  A lovely evening out.

We took a walk out to view the locks and the descent to come.

Right at the bottom and looking up the flight.  Its only 130 feet but the amount of energy that has been used to get up there over the years must be considerable.

It seems to go on for ever. 

PS there are also another 6 locks taking us down another 50 foot behind me. Overall it goes from Lock 22 to Lock 50 over a distance of two and a quarter miles raising the boats approx 230 feet so you need the 12 miles lock free after it to recover.

Stay for a few days and we shall move out of Devizes to a mooring in the countryside.  They are only 72 hours here so rather than have questions asked its easier to move out and pop back in every so often to do the shopping.  

The hot water boiler keeps shutting down and so no hot water.  I think that it is the water pump not working properly as it is taking an age to re-pressurise the system. It will give me something to do apart from sunbathing. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Pewsey to Horton

 After leaving Pewsey we entered the deadland.  Well we couldnt get on line and had much iffyness with the mobile too.

 Having got to the end of the black spot the camera starts playing up and with a corrupt pic and refusing to download.  A format has fixed it but 20 pics are lost so a gap in the trip. Most of it was in the rain so its going to be easy to forget :-)

Having left Pewsey we stopped to make a cuppa at Wilcot and it was so peaceful we stayed the night.

Next day we go off for a walk around the little village.

Rather nice estate houses in a long row.  At each end one of the houses has a niche with an urn and swags.

A lovely little church that is badly in need of a peal of bells by the look of it

Moved on to Honeystreet which is said to be a bit better than it turned out. There is a fair mooring on the towpath and the smell from the sawmill over the hedge is strongly of tarred wood.

 Back out into the open and heading towards Devizes. The hills to the right and valley to left.

The hills can be seen in the distance.  One or two of the hills look quite man-made and rather conical.  On one there is the ancient farming terraces still evident.

A bit like Chesterfield here with the reeds beginning to grow with only a narrow bit of canal in the middle.

Long views over to the left now.

Views getting better by the yard.

Stopped at Bridge 127 (on the new moorings there) to make tea and a chat with the folk off nb Shiloh.  Did a bit of a book swap.

Time to look for moorings.  Only a few miles left to Devizes and we will leave early tomorrow to get to what we hope will be some empty moorings.  We have been told that space is at a premium.  We then have to see what is happening about the stoppages on the way to Bristol.  The bridge is now ok to travel under I have been told so that is oner down.  That just leaves Avon and leak to get past.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Hungerford to Pewsey

The mooring last night was ok but the hooligans were a pain. :-)  The hooligans I am talking about are the ducks.  the danmn things think that a boat is nothing more than an landing stage for ducks.  Thud thud and its twomore on the roof checking out the lettuce and beetroot plants.

As there is a decrease in the rain we decided to move to the other side of the lock and some peace and quiet.

Just above the lock and its very quiet

The following day and less rain so we are off.

At Cobblers Lock the lockies house looks unloved.  However it has been sold as a notice in the window says.  Best of luck with that one.

Its getting a bit busy around here.  Not that many boats about really.

The water level seems to be fairly constant but several times I have woken up in the morning with the boat leaning well over and yet the level seems the same as the night before.

One of the round overflows.

One of the little villages along the way with the Great Western Railway right next to the canal.

Great Bedwyn appears along the way.

Moored at Great Bedwyn with the church right next to the canal.

The church with its central tower that looks big enough for umpteen bells.

It has some fine memorials.  This one mentions the marriage of a knight to a Queen of England ex-Henry VIII

Lovely arches.

Outside and the ancient preaching cross but

what exactly does this represent.

Along the road and the shop and Post office turn out to be well worth a  second look. the walls are covered with gravestones and the like.

This is the written language Ockam and if you need the alphabet its all there for you.

Heading back to the boat.

and the mooring for tonight and its raining again.

and we are away again.  Met up with a couple walking the dogs and Lee had the devils own job stopping Cassey from pinching the other dogs ball.  Give Cassey a ball normally and she has left it behind after 30 seconds but not today.

The sun keeps coming out and we stop for a while at the Crofton Pumping Station.  This year is its 200th anniverary having been built in 1812 and is the oldest beam engine still in use.

Looking for a mooring.  Not a lot around really.  Where ever there is a chance of getting along side there are dozens of boats taking up the space and not all of them are permit holders either.

Sometimes the trees do gert a little overgrown but still look nice. Still we are now on the summit and its downhill from here.

Excitement.  The tunnel is 500 yards long so the other end is visible.

Inside the tunnel there are still the chains that bargees of old used to pull themselves through.

Brickwork all the way through.

Its warmer out than in.

Burbage Wharf.  The project was to rebuild one of the cranes that once lined the canal.  I saw the central pillar many times (there are several at Bugsworth) and its nice to see what they really looked like.

Moored for the night.

A nicde day with the sun out but the locks are a little close together.  There has been at least one every mile and many every half mile.

Going down hill

Someone explain this to me.  Can you see the orange colour at the end of the arrow?  That is a fish trying to get into a hole in the brick work. Why?

All the way along the canal there has been pill boxes from the last war.  This one is high on the bank

Someone has set up their pole lathe on the bank.  Wonder what he makes?

New bank being built.  Good to see the weaving of poles to define the edge.

I did say that the boat leans over

I dont think that this is what I meant.  It will take more than a bit of tarpaulin to cure the leak.

Miles and miles to the next lock.  Tonights mooring.

Met up with a couple cycling the canal towpath.  Turns out that he is from Swansea area and knows the old British Aluminium works that I would visit with my father when he drove for them.