We had a late start this morning and spotted a hire boat heading for Bradford Lock on its way back to the marina just above, so we upped pins and followed them into the lock for a free ride up our first lock. The crew were a lovely young group from Cornwall who were returning from their weeks cruise to Bath and we chatted away as the boats rose in the lock. Waving farewell we headed for The Boatyard at Hilperton Wharf where we filled with diesel at 85p/ltr with own declaration and were able to thank Victoria for obtaining our chandlery for us.
As we set off we picked up a hitch hiker for a ride down the cut, a hen Mallard on the back fender.
The sun was shining and Phoenix enjoyed the back deck with her latest toy, Patch, who has lasted the longest of any of her toys and hopefully will be still in one piece when she leaves us as she will be able to take her favourite toy with her.
Motoring on we we had true April weather with bright warm sunshine one minute and rain, hail, and strong winds the next. At one of the numerous swing bridges on this section we spotted this unusual garage in a farm yard. The trouble is we can remember the petrol pumps, Camp coffee and other items. Luckily on this stretch the swing bridges do have the temporary mooring areas on the side which you swing whereas some are on the offside making it difficult to move the boat and bridge.
I wonder why it is that on the K & A the bridges are numbered from Reading and the Locks from Bristol. It seems a funny thing to do as when it was built how would they have know the eventual number of bridges and locks to number.
At the Semington Locks we soon developed a system of working between us which would mitigate the effects on June’s back and really enjoyed working as a well oiled team again.
We moored up at Sells Green and I took Phoenix a walk up to the Caen Hill flight to give her a little exercise as she had to remain on the boat whilst we travelled today.
Later we went for a meal at the Three Magpies which has recently been refurbished. I must say the food was fantastic, I had cod, chips and mushy peas and the fish was more like a whale, with light crispy batter; there was so much it beat me. The beer was pretty good too and the staff very welcoming. By the time we left there was a waiting list for tables so if you decide to try it book in advance unless you go early.
The Camping and Caravan Club site which is adjacent to the canal has a shop where you can obtain groceries etc.