Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Back where we started

Jan had a very broken night with her coughing and she eventually spent much of the night in her saloon chair.  I woke before 5.00am and we were cruising less than an hour later.  We carefully and slowly slipped passed moored boats noticing the twitching of some curtains! Smile  Moving at this time of day proved to be ideal as we missed the forecast high temperatures.  By 8.00am we were at Colwich Lock having only passed one boat going in the opposite direction.  The lock was full so either the top gates leak badly or the boater had moored overnight somewhere below the lock.

The canal gently winds its way through lovely rural countryside, although it does share the route with two separate railways.  At one time we thought we might have been on the Thames at Westminster.  We could see Parliament to starboard.

As we were heading up the straight towards Haywood Lock I noticed what looked to be a Chinese Arch on a distant hillside.  Then there was a strange building that looked like one of those uniquely English folly’s.  I made a mental note to explore them in more detail later in the day.  We had a decision to make when we arrived below Haywood Lock.  Do we moor on the 48 hour moorings above or below the lock.  Above looked a better prospect for finding the ‘dot in the sky’ whereas below the lock had plenty of shade from the adjacent trees.  We opted for the shade.

Today’s mooring

The first task was to get out the Kipor generator and do an equalizing charge on the domestic battery bank.  The Kipor ran for almost 8 hours on less than a full tank of fuel.  Mostly because the load was minimal.  Whilst Jan cleaned up in Waiouru I disposed of the rubbish in the facilities at Great Haywood Junction in addition to checking with Anglo-Welsh and Great Haywood Marina about the cost of a pump-out and a replacement 13kg gas bottle.  Anglo-Welsh were the cheapest for both so they will get our business.

In the afternoon there was time to go exploring.  Almost everyone appears to take a photo of Essex Bridge over the River Trent and I was no exception.

Apparently the bridge was built in the Middle Ages.  Looking upstream it’s possible to see where the River Trent and River Sow join.

Sow to the left and Trent to the right.  The volume of water at this point is considerably less than at Sawley!

Crossing the Essex bridge leads to a public bridlepath though the Shugborough Estate.  My objective was to find the chinese arch and along the way I took a photo of Shugborough Hall.

I’m not going to write much about the Hall as numerous other bloggers have already done so.  Alternatively there is information on the Shugborough Hall website <click here> or Wikipedia <click here>.  The history of the Hall rather looks like the classic One generation to make the money.  One to hold the money; and one to lose the money.  It now belongs to the National Trust.

Eventually I got sufficiently close to the arch to see it was probably the original main gateway to the estate.

It doesn’t take much to imagine Mr Darcy riding under the arch in a horse drawn coach on his way to the Hall.Smile Unfortunately I’m completely wrong.  It’s a Triumphal Arch, one of a number of follies on the estate.  The other strange building seen earlier from the canal is also a folly.  This time it’s the “Tower of Winds”.

Why are we back where we started?

Just over two years ago we arrived in the UK and immediately headed for Great Haywood to establish the progress that had been made on the construction of Waiouru.  We did find her nearby and our suspicions that we were being deceived about her progress were confirmed.  Both Jan and I recall it was an overcast and drizzly day and we sat in the rental car beside the canal at Great Haywood discussing our options.  Should we give up on our dream of living on a narrow boat or persevere.  As we were mulling over our predicament a narrow boat slowly cruised past with a rather wet looking steerer at the tiller.  YES…. we are going to make our dream happen!  And we have……..


Ray Butler said...

Which way will you turn at the Junction? Straight on for the Caldon, Macclesfield & Peak Forest - or left for Staffs & Worcs?

Tom and Jan said...

We're going straight ahead Ray!

Dave,Beryl Bradshaw said...

f your Gas will last until Eturia
13kg at Capital Gas just past the junction with the Caldon before the bridge at Eturia £17.50

Tom and Jan said...

Ooooh... Sold on the idea!

David said...

Full circle Eh! Well done that pair. Catch up with you soon - only 86 jobs left on the task list.
Keeping an eye out for an old mate? ;-)

Jenny and Robin said...

Good on you both for sticking with your dream! It's been a fair old slog, hasn't it. But you are real boaties now, no doubt having the time of your lives.

Tom and Jan said...

Hi Jenny & Robin,
Yes it has been a trial but people can only steal your dreams if you let them! Oh... and this is fun!

Tom and Jan said...

Hi David,
Want me to take a walk and look for your mobile and iPod? :-)Keep going with the job list.... You're getting there!