We are moored at Snarestone which is as far as the Ashby canal gets. Snarestone is just north of Birmingham and Leicester. Sue & Vic on No Problem are with us and will look after our cat and dog so we can travel home. Sue made the bus schedule for us using the internet and even printed the ticket for National Express. It amazed us that a bus was passing this way at all. The journey to Southampton required just two busses and a coach. Considerably cheaper than train or hire car. This was to be an enjoyable trip with no driving on our part. Had two large bags and hand luggage which is travelling light for us.
No.7 arrived on time as did all the vehicles throughout the journey. So we left at 5 past 9 having changed into clean shoes after walking through the wet muddy tow path. Sue kindly returned our dirty boots to the boat. We were the only passengers on this dumpy little bus which travelled through several villages and Atherstone, on the way to Nuneaton. Picking up one other person on the way. Did some shopping as we had about an hour before the next bus. The next bus, No. 775 took us all the way to Coventry Pool Meadow Bus Station, arriving at midday. A clean place with shops and facilities. Just enough time to use them before the coach arrived. Several people with their printed tickets were waiting. After loading luggage and finding two seats two rows back on the left the comfortable coach left at 20 past 12. Stopped briefly at Royal Leamington Spa to pick up one passenger before heading for Banbury where the Oxford Canal passes through. We were able to eat our sandwiches on the coach while the driver tried to rest during his short break at Oxford. We caught sight of the River Thames and had previously passed under the bridge in our boat. Many young people here riding bikes in front of the coach as it tries to weave through Oxford. Then back on the open road and on to Newbury where we had started our adventures on the Kennet & Avon canal. The coach arrived at Southampton just before 5 so we got off and waited for a taxi to take us to our destination.
The return trip a week later left at 11:15. George n Ann getting us to the Coach Station. A slight delay was caused by one gentleman having too much luggage. He could not possibly carry it on his own. After much discussion he was allowed to get on board with his huge 'hand' luggage. It was getting dark by the time we reached Coventry. The bus station was full of school children and various busses were full up as they left. Our bus left an hour later with a few passengers heading for Nuneaton where we waited in the cold shelter for our last bus. Another short dumpy one with a conductor for our trip in the dark. "Oh the last bus for Snarestone left at 5. We don't normally go that far, but just for you we will." Another passenger travelled with us. The conductor kept telling the driver to go strait on rather than short detours to small villages. "There won't be anybody there at this time of night." The other passenger got off and we were transported through the darkness to Snarestone. We carried our luggage across the field over the canal tunnel where we met Sue and changed into clean warm boots. Back along the wet muddy tow path to the boats by half past seven and a welcome roast dinner.