We had met several people on our travels this year and found that some of them had also 'returned' to Braunston. Dave and Georgina on 'Drift' came in for a coffee and chat. 'Rachael' was also seen having first met up at Bugsworth Basin, near Whaley Bridge. Next day we decided to move up the locks and through the tunnel and wait the arrival of our friends Vic and Sue on 'No Problem'. They are returning to BW waters and we met them half way up the Buckby flight. Plenty of space at Norton Jn. and we all went to the pub for a celebration drink. Next day we escorted them through Braunston Tunnel. Luckily for Sue no boats were coming the other way. This after all is not the easiest of tunnels to go through especially if you have not seen a tunnel for some time.
Sunday, September 25, 2005
Three hours on the road got us all, including mum, back to the boat. The car hire company came and took the car away on a tow truck. After filling our tank with diesel at 55 pence a litre we were off to our first stop for the night just a mile away. The satellite signal provided a picture then later we converted the table into a bed for mum who had a comfortable night.
Next day we passed through Nuneaton where boaters were warning us about a car in the canal! Three policemen were seen by the upside down car with only the boot and two wheels showing. At this time they had no idea if a driver was inside! We continued on past well kept gardens before reaching Hawkesbury.
We all then walked to the junction where the Oxford Canal joins the Coventry. Watched as many boats made the turn and operated the lock on a warm sunny afternoon.
Ben was christened at a church in the New Forest. A pleasant gathering at the church and in the hall after the event to see the family again after many months away. We were able to visit the children many times during our stay and took them both to the forest. Then it was Josh's birthday. We dressed up as Pirate Jim and Rosie Lee! All the children came as pirates with an assortment of swords dress and makeup. The village hall was filled with activities for the little pirates. A large rubber dingy and cardboard boxes provided the boats for them to 'capture'. They all just ran around letting off steam before sitting down at the table to eat sandwiches sausages and cake. Other organised games including 'pass the parcel' finished off the day.
We left the boat at Springwood Haven and hired a car from Research Garage Group at Hinkley. They came to fetch us from the marina. The Peugeot 307 with 4 doors did us proud. A diesel doing 53 mpg. We were away for two weeks and did 780 miles in the car feeding it with about £80 of fuel. Car technology is taking over some functions that the driver does. The lights come on when driving through short tunnels or in the dark. Windows close and the mirrors fold in when the doors are locked! What it does not do is ensure you are not exceeding the speed limit. The traffic and navigating on the roads was difficult to get used to.