Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Hatton, Staircase to Heaven–Wednesday 11th September 2013

We were woken at 6.00am by what sounded like a police radio transmission immediately outside the boat, it could also have been a tanoy from the adjacent factory but it seemed a bit early for that. We set sail at 7.30 for the Cape Locks where there were a lot of hire boats moored and continued on to the bottom of the Hatton fight.
1 Cape of Good Hope
On route we passed the entrance to the Saltiford Arm where we moored this time last year when we were going in the opposite direction.
2 Saltisford Arm
Here we are waiting for the lock to be emptied, everyone was against us as a pair of boats were going up in front of us.
3Waiting for locks to be emptied
We soon caught them up and so decided to have a coffee break at the half way stage. One of them  was a hire boat and the hirer told one of the volunteer lock keepers that they were doing the Leicester Ring so he was a bit worried that they knew where they were going particularly as he had to show them how to operate the locks and moor up at the top.
4 Coffe Time half way up
This was the view of the  second half of the flight. As we went through Lock 35 we could see the house where our last Guide Dog Pup, Phoenix, had been born and if the forecast had not been for rain coming in at lunch time we might have stopped and gone to see the Brood Bitch holder.
5 The next half
As you rise up the flight there is a great view back over Warwick with its Church highlighted by the sky.
6 Warwick Church
At Lock 42 there is this lovely metal Dragonfly hovering in a pond at the side of the visitors car park.
7 Dragonfly
We are almost at the top and the cafe comes into view, a very welcome sight when the weather is hot as it is an opportunity to stop for a rest and an ice cream.
8 Almost there Cafe
A little further on we passed the Mid Warwicks Yacht Club where Sue and Roger used to keep there boats and we would visit before we had our own.
9 Mid warks club
At northern end of the Shrewley Tunnel the towpath climbs up to the side tunnel for the horses. Despite the dry weather of recent days the last quarter of the tunnel was very wet with water pouring in from the sides and the roof.
9a Shrewley Tunnel
We eventually reached the Rowington Embankment where we moored up for the night with lovely views over the Warwickshire countryside. It is a strange feeling being closer to home than we were when we set out last week.
9b Rowington Embankment

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