Its been a very busy time since arriving in Bradford on Avon more than a week ago. I am very sorry for the delay in updating you but a combination of being busy and not having an internet signal when we have time is working against me but…. I will try to make amends.
We stayed in Bradford on Avon until Monday lunchtime making the most of the beautiful weather on Sunday to look around this beautiful town and stock up at the Farmers Markets. We are loving how these are everywhere and on different days in different towns. We also got excellent supplies in Melksham on Tuesday and Devizes on Thursday. The fridge and larder are full of wonderful produce now.
After a slow start on Monday morning reading, planning and chatting to family and friends on Skype, we were finally ready to tackle the first lock at about noon. Just as Bob was preparing to leave the mooring and Bron was walking to prepare the lock, our Canadian friends, Bill and Linda, appeared and our plans suddenly changed. We did continue on but with Linda on board helping Bron with the locks and swing bridges – and taking a turn on the tiller!!- and Bill driving to Hilperton and joining us on the tow path before we arrived there. We needed to visit the Hilperton Marina to finalise purchase of an anchor (before tackling the Thames and any other rivers) and a few other necessary items from the Chandlery there. We made arrangements for Bill to meet us in Semington later in the day.
They had kindly invited us to stay with them in the very old farmhouse they were house sitting in Melksham and to assist us with securing the TV antenna and a couple of other jobs on the boat. We ended up having two lovely nights in the farmhouse and they joined us as our first guests on the Celtic Maid for a night, in between assisting us with the locks leading to and including the Caen Hill flight. We did 14 locks and 5 swing bridges on Wednesday and then the remaining 22 locks of the Caen Hill flight on Thursday. It is so much better with help!!!!
On Wednesday evening we availed ourselves of the hospitality of the British Lion where a few ales and ciders were consumed to lubricate 3 thrilling games of 8ball. Linda and Bron won the first game but let Bill and Bob win the remaining of the best of three. Our collective misspent youth coming back to give us amusement in our middle years!!!!!
On Thursday afternoon after bidding Linda and Bill farewell (they are returning to Canada in 2 weeks after a week in Scotland) we managed to complete a few necessary tasks in Devizes before preparing to continue East along the canal into brand new territory. A quick stop into the Devizes Marina to say a final thanks and farewell to Debbie (who had assisted us in the purchase of Celtic Maid in December last year – so long ago now!!!) and the others who had worked on our boat, and collect a few more necessities – fenders and ties and alternator belts – and then with showers looming we continued on to Honeystreet (sweet name!!) where we spent the night and a rest day yesterday (Sunday). We attempted a walk but whilst Bob went bravely on Bron returned along the slippery towpath to the boat and happily curled up with a mocha and a good book until his return.No internet access there further delaying my update but lots of rain to keep us awake.
Today we made it to Pewsey after passing under some very pretty bridges (number 120 Lady’s Bridge particularly ornate!!) and no locks since Thursday!!! Rained for most of the day and finally starting to clear now!
There should be lots of photos in the Gallery and maybe a map on the Useful Information page!!!