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Sunday, 23 March 2014

Alvecote to Hawkesbury Junction

Here is a picture of the working boats at Alvecote, mentioned yesterday…

4 working boats at Alvecote

I set off for Atherstone by 8.30am in almost dry but fairly chilly conditions. The wind which has been our constant companion so far wasn’t too troublesome. It took about 90 minutes of cruising before I reached the bottom of the Atherstone flight. I received unexpected assistance when I reached the fourth lock up in the shape of my mate Stan and a small herd of volunteer lock keepers. With their assistance I rose to the top lock with relatively little effort. Stan and I then visited the chippy and a local pub before I waved a fond farewell and carried on my cruise.

I moored only a couple of miles further on near Mancetter as it had started to rain quite hard, but after the bustle of Atherstone, it felt a lot further…


6 Mancetter mooring

There were some fantastic footpaths here and so I have decided to stop for the day here when I return to explore further. My ankle is almost recovered but just to remind me that suffering is good for the soul, I am brewing a cold!

Sunday morning, and after a lovely though chilly walk around the golf course and woods, we set off for Hawkesbury junction where the Coventry Canal meets the North Oxford and where you can get a rare picture of two canals in one frame…

8 Two canals in one pic

The Coventry is just visible on the left, the Oxford on the right and at the junction of the two, a pretty bridge and attractive pub…

12 Bridge over Coventry

11 Greyhound pub at junction

It took three and a half hours to get here and this time the wind was absolutely bitter and it felt like a lot longer. Still, once I lit a fire and had some tomato soup for lunch I felt sufficiently recovered to take Bonny for a walk. I had particularly wanted to come to Hawkesbury Junction as I had stopped here once before when cruising with my friends Roger and Shirleyann. It is an area where there used to be mining and once the pits were closed, the area was given over to nature and I had not had the chance to really explore on my previous visit. I had remembered a lovely wooded and gorse covered area with footpaths running all around. Unfortunately on our return I discovered the walk I had remembered was no more. The trees had all been cut down and the gorse pulled up, leaving behind a barren wasteland, suitable only it seemed for motocross judging from the churned up tracks!

Ah well, never mind, a night here and then I shall mooch back through the fairly unattractive Nuneaton to Mancetter where I shall sit out the forecasted bad Tuesday weather. I am also fairly short of food so I shall wander into Atherstone for supplies.

Oh, I do wish I was well enough off not to have to return to work. The North Oxford looked so inviting, and then I could have followed onto the South Oxford, The Thames and who knows where I could end up! Ah well, seven more years before I get my police pension and then there will be no stopping me.

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