We arrived in beautiful Bath Thursday 20th March. This breathtaking city is perched on the sides of the valley through which the Avon river – and the western end of the Kennet and Avon – flows.
But first – the journey to here!!!
We left our mooring at Whaddon Lane Bridge in good time and cruised through fertile farming land, Hilperton, Trowbridge and Bradford-on-Avon before our first aqueduct at Avoncliff. This was a great experience and our initial fears proved to be quite unfounded. The canal is quite shallow in the approaches and we did find ourselves a little beached briefly but soon re-floated and continued.
The views of old churches, large manors, diverse farming land, new spring growth on the canal-side foliage, birdlife and indiscriminate artwork appearing on the canals never fail to elicit appreciative responses in us both. We keep having to remind ourselves that we are really doing this and all those years of planning and dreaming have finally paid off.
Mid- afternoon on Wednesday we arrived just before the Dundas Aqueduct and moored before taking a walk to see what was ahead of us. The view from the aqueduct over the Kennet and Avon Canal, Avon River and train line is very impressive and we had a bit of a look at the history of the Somerset Coal Company’s canal which has not yet been restored although where it joins the Kennet and Avon Canal a marina houses a number of live aboard narrowboats and other vessels.
We returned to Celtic Maid and moved her around the corner ready for an early start across the aqueduct and to avail ourselves of access to diesel from Andy, as well as River and Canal Trust water and Elsan disposal. Everything conveniently co-located!!!
Then on past Claverton, Bathampton, finally mooring at the Darlington Wharf next to another new friend, Jo, who kindly helped us moor and gave us loads of information about Bath and narrowboats and lots more!!!
Mundane activities of laundry and orienting ourselves filled the remainder of Thursday with busy days planned ahead.
Friday saw us walking along the towpath to view the locks in front of us (should we choose to continue in this direction) and view the (now raised) narrowboat which had been submerged in lock 11 – what a mess!!!! On returning to the Three store in Bath where we had purchased our Huawei internet device two weeks ago, we learnt that yes indeed the salesman had failed to provide us with an adaptor for the microsim card, that we would need to purchase further top-ups via in store vouchers at ridiculous cost, and that we could not have a plan or do on-line top ups without a British debit card!!! Problem solved when we visited HSBC where two wonderful staff supported us to open an account and order us debit cards. Just waiting on their arrival now.
The stay in has Bath also enabled us to get in some more equipment – chairs and a table, mattress topper and extra bedding, a digital radio (Bob’s belated Xmas present!), a new TV antenna, and much needed shopping and hand trolleys to get our purchases back to Celtic Maid. This took most of the weekend unfortunately.
We also took the time to visit the Roman Baths which are just fantastic! Pity we can’t use them but the history of the place is fascinating and of all the tourist opportunities available this is one not to miss.
So we now have TV – but still need to get the aerial secured better -, provisions, great bedding and seating, trolleys that are invaluable and today we hope to do a little more sight seeing and get Bron a much needed haircut!!! And Bob is still trying to work out the aerial!!!!!