Have been moving early most days to get past Benham lock before it closes for repair. Passed by Reading Marine still busy with their old hire boats and after a few stops we got to Newbury. Got another gas bottle and filled up with diesel and water there. The chandlery is now full of boaters goodies and it was difficult not to spend some money there! This is the last 'staging post' this side of the summit and the tunnel. The next one is 27 miles and about 20 locks away. About 5 moving days but we are now desperate for a rest! If we are lucky a diesel / coal supply boat will come by.
The K n A was one of those 'remainder' canals so British Waterways were only required to maintain the navigation. Back in 1997 the National Lottery fund handed over 25 million pounds to lift the status to a 'cruising' canal. A lot has been achieved but mainly at the western end. Many old lock gates at the eastern end were not replaced with that money. Now at last we see that several have now been replaced. Just in time before they collapse! Benham lock is about to have the gates replaced, now thankfully behind us.