Summer Cruise – Day 14

Phew! What a scorcher!

DSCF3248As the tabloids would say… but when I was making my early morning brew it was raining so we didn’t hurry our departure. We had been told to expect the pound we were moored on to drop, but we were fine, but after the next lock the water was so low it was touch and go at some points. As we reached the lock two BW guys rolled up to let some water down from Cowroast and after that we had no more problems and as the day wore on it got progressively hotter and hotter, by the time we got to Berkhamsted I was in need of a shower to cool off.

Beautiful Berko

DSCF3251We were very impressed with Berkhamsted (Berko to boaters)with its well kept parks along the canal. The BW guys warned that there was a problem with one of the locks, named ‘Gas 2’ after the once adjacent gas works, part of the timber baulk protecting the cill had broken away and we needed to keep well out of its way. We stopped outside Waitrose were we took lunch and bought some groceries, “Our prices on branded grocery products are now identical to Tesco’s. (Excluding promotions)” crowed their advertisements, but we found their selection poor and shelves empty of stock in places. This was not due to staff shortages, we’ve never seen so many in store and a man in a booth to check car park tickets to make sure you don’t overstay!

DSCF3259After our lunch we moved out of the town centre, past the station and the totem pole (yes really) and into a pleasant residential area, where we are moored opposite this interesting house which has the look of a converted warehouse which has had and extra story added, and in the adjacent workshop someone is building a wooden boat.

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4 thoughts on “Summer Cruise – Day 14”

  1. I’m fairly sure that the building with the balcony was the HQ of Bridgewater Boats – rem I told you we hired from there 25 years ago? I do believe there’s a model gorilla or some such in the conservatory. can you expand the pic to look in the window? haha!
    carry on enJOYing please ?

  2. There certainly is a huge gorilla in there 🙂

    See here for pictures of when it was Bridgewater Boats. Looks like there was a bad fire in the original workshops.

  3. We have been away for a fortnight in France, so have read all fourteen days of reports on your Summer Cruise in one sitting – well worth the read, thankyou. One of our weeks was in Carcassonne, which is on the Canal du Midi. We didn’t spend time on the water – which for us would just have meant cruising along a short section with a group of other tourists. Instead we spent a couple of days walking the towpath, far enough in both directions to pass a number of the locks, an aqueduct etc. A fantastic engineering achievement, considering it was opened in 1681. The locks (91 of them over 250 km) are an interesting oval design, and there is a lock-keeper’s house at each one. They are supposed to be operated only by the lock-keepers, although I think we watched some of them being helped by members of the boat’s crew, but they are certainly all closed between 12.30 and 13.30 every day, winter or summer – a French lock-keeper’s lunch-hour is not to be trifled with! There are 42,000 plane trees along the Canal, unhappily now affected by a wilt pathogen (imported from America) which kills a tree in 3 to 7 years. We saw many of the infected trees, and they will probably all have to be replaced in due course by a resistant variety of plane, if they can find some organisation to foot the bill.

  4. Yes – that’s how it looked when we hired all those years ago, and how I got -well, not hooked – but an interest in the canals.
    Also it’s a good coincidence that Graham and Betty sent their response as at another time the ex and I and each daughter camped in S France and saw stretches of the Canal du Midi. Sad to read aboutthe damage to the plane trees. Hope the disease resistant variety will be found, similar to the Elms we are nurturing at the Forest Centre.
    Happy boating!

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