Today’s jaunt took us back to Bablock Hythe and through some of the Thames’ more over grown meanderings, Joy was stationed at the front so she could warn of approaching craft, which was very helpful and gave her the chance to take some photos from a different perspective..
Our timings today meant that we hit a couple of the locks when they were on ‘self-service’. Generally boaters are glad to help each other out in these circumstances but some do seem to be on another planet, I opened the lock gates for a rather odd looking wide-beam cruiser with a crew of five, only one of whom got off to help and then, without so much as a by-your-leave he jumped back on leaving me to close the gates for them as well! Perhaps they thought I was the hired help.
We then overtook them as they had stopped, I presume for lunch, but they caught us up at the next lock and enquired if we were going up or down (the pointy bit facing the open bottom gates was a bit of a clue I thought, not to mention the fact that we had chatted with each other an hour or so before).
As we cleared the bottom gates a young lad then started to shut the gates in the face of the boats waiting to come up until I pointed them out to him! The balance was redressed at Northmoor lock by a lovely guy and his dog in a little cruiser who had been all over the river and canal system and was heading back to Leicester; he couldn’t have been more helpful.
Joy was just dozing ‘up front’ as we passed under Hart’s Weir Footbridge when one of a group of three lads ‘bombed’ off of the bridge just as we passed. Bet he did it purposely to wake her up… It certainly worked!
The last stretch from there to Bablock Hythe is unusual in that there are a number of riverside dwellings on the right bank ranging from mansions to the most modest ‘summerhouses’, see the slideshow below to see what I mean.
As soon as we moored up we needed showers to cool down, followed by a refreshing pint of something at The Ferryman where we returned for our evening meal, Joy indulged herself by choosing their BBQ ribs once more whilst I contented myself very nice chips and onion rings as their menu doesn’t favour the reluctant meat-eater, I didn’t fancy a veggy curry and tried their burgers last time (nuff said) .