Little Venice to Kings Langley
No posts for two days because we have been too busy moving.
Floating Garden on the Paddington Arm
Of all our 2017 trip, this week is the most pressurised in terms of moving to a deadline. We have to move from Islington in London to Cosgrove and have just six days to achieve it.
Pulling the butty is not the fastest way to travel and if we cant go fast to have to compensate by putting in the hours. Rather than fall behind I decided to get up early on Saturday morning and get a few miles behind us before breakfast so we were on the move by 7.15am.
Water tower house in Kensall
The Paddington arm is lock free so it was just a matter of standing on the back of the boat and grinding it out. We paused at Northolt to refuel and emerged at Bulls Bridge at about 2.00pm. We took advantage of the supermarket, resupplying with the essentials and then turned north which will be our unwavering direction of travel for the next five days.
We pushed on into the evening, finally mooring surrounded by lakes just above Denham Deep Lock. That's 23 miles, no mean feat with 8 tons hanging on the stern.
On starting on Sunday morning we realised that our tranquil offside mooring will soon be no more as it is the exact point where the HS2 will pass.
The day was one of an endless succession of locks, mostly spaced a mile or so apart. We paused at Rickmansworth and emptied the elsan, only to discover that the contents were bubbling up out of the adjacent manhole cover. We looked in vain for a rubbish point - an essential service we had failed to find yesterday. CRT seem to have removed most of the rubbish bins and this is making responsible refuse disposal difficult to say the least.
The GU in this area is generally well supplied with water, with rivers flowing in and our all over the place. However, we were brought up short at the two Cassiobury park Locks. The middle pound was way down and in the middle sat a widebeam, firmly aground. The butty draws three feet and my attempt to pass was doomed so there we both sat till some water was fed down to ease our predicament.
Stuck in Cassiobury Park
We finally came to a stop in Kings Langley, a mile or so north of the M25, a road we have crossed six times in four places over the last five weeks, and the last time we will venture inside its circle for at least two years.
Which way are we headed tomorrow? Due north, of course - probably stopping at the Tring summit beyond Berkhampstead.