Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Moving on down the locks

It was going to be a few long trips spread over a few days that we had planned. The locks are all wide on the Grand Union heading south to London so two narrow boats or one wide barge can get in. "There do seem to be more barges down this way." Some of the locks had to be left empty with a paddle up to prevent flooding. There were a few boats coming up which helped our progress.
We did not adopt a routine so approaching a lock varied between Terry and I being first in on one side or the other.

There was one automatic swing bridge to deal with at Winkwell that had been repaired after being damaged by a vehicle the previous week. The facilities at Hemel Hempstead near the lock were occupied so we breasted up in a convenient space between the many boats. The girls went off to the shops while we waited.
It had been a warm sunny day and the canal corridor proved to be quite rural being mostly tree lined through the town. We finally stopped just past the railway bridge at a wide grass edge. It was also deep enough with no other boats in site but the trains were a bit noisy as they passed Kings Langley. The train's electric pickup was creating some disturbance on the Freeview TV so Terry had to move in front of us. We stayed there a day, visiting Kings Langley and enjoyed a round of jam doughnuts and coffee sitting outside a cafe.

It is somewhere around here that Ovaltine was made. I think this is the old Wharf.

Kings Langley lock
Next day we continued on down many more locks to Cassiobury Park which is inside the outer circle created by the M25.

Several locks had delightful little cottages with well kept gardens beside them.

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