Sunday, June 03, 2007

Sunny Saturday, Sunny Sunday

I did not blog yesterday. I must confess to an evening in front of the TV. So here is a quick back track. We cruised down to Hungerford on Saturday. We spent the morning “pottering” on the boat, domestic chores that are required even on holiday in your own floating home!

We stripped and remade the bed – stowed away the winter duvet and now have the summer one on the bed. Watch the weather change! John put up the “dreckly” clock that the church gave him as part of his leaving present – I will post a photo tomorrow as I have just put the camera away after downloading today’s photos!

It was very hot so we did not cast off until mid afternoon, having had a leisurely lunch. We took our time through the 3 locks to moor just below lock 74 at Hungerford Wharf where the K and A Trust Trip Boat “The Rose of Hungerford” takes a full load of visitors down to Kintbury on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. There were a lot of walkers and “gongoozlers” on the towpath and at the locks.

We needed some provisions so walked over the Town Bridge into the High Street. This boasts some boutiques, antique shops, miscellaneous small shops including greengrocers and a convenience store housing the PO, Boots and Banks. There is a very respectable size Somerfield just off the street and a small Coop too.

We missed the Street Market as it was gone 5pm but there were still celebrations of “Bellman Day” based around the “Swan”. There were about 10 Town Criers/Bellmen competing with each other. Including the very long standing Hungerford Bellman (of over 30 years service I think).

So today (Sunday) was also very lazy – breakfast in bed for one of us (not letting on who, but we do take it in turns!). We spent the morning sorting out some of the stuff in the stern cabin that came up from Cornwall. We now have one of the bunks free, one more box and a few bits and pieces on the other. It is still hot so the boat was open from stern to bows. Lots of Sunday walkers passed us by on the opposite towpath and then in the afternoon they queued for the boat trip.

We finally set off about 3.30 to go a few yards to bridge 83 where we used the sanitary station and water facilities. It is a very slow tap and we took half an hour to fill – we were probably nearly empty, as I had washed 3 loads on Saturday!

We decided to cruise to Kintbury and then wind ready to start our return journey tomorrow. Only 3 locks and they were all set for us. Hire boats from Reading Marine were coming up the locks. We met The Rose of Hungerford” returning and a couple of private boats.

We had a memory of the Victorian Gothic vicarage at the waters edge just before Kintbury. Last time we passed in 2001 or 2 (Neither of us can remember) we thought it might be a good place to have a “Living”. Little did we know that our life would be so different next time we passed by. It is no longer a vicarage and the waterfront has been considerably improved, I think.

After winding just before Kintbury lock, using the mouth of a short mooring arm, we moored towpath side under the trees. We had a wander into the village, which has a few basic shops and some lovely houses and pretty cottages. We returned to Epiphany for a Sunday roast and settled down for the evening, another warm, balmy one.

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