Saturday, September 29, 2007

Next Installment

Blog of journey from Bristol to Bridge 208 on the River Avon
12 miles, 3 hours 30 minutes, 7 locks, 5.43 l/mph

On Thursday morning we walked to Underfall Yard

and then around to Cumberland Basin.

The entrance under Junction Lock Bridge.

On the way we passed Old Dock.

There are some of the old buildings in this area giving an idea of how it was before the harbour was created.

I also recognised where we went to pick up our hire boat from Anglo Welsh in 1999.

Only to find that as the river Avon was in flood they would drive us to Dundas, where there was an upgrade waiting for us – Silver Swan. So Dundas to the Thames and back to Newbury was our trip – as I have mentioned as our first experience of the Kennet and Avon canal in previous blogs. The Anglo Welsh fleet was relocated to Sydney Wharf the next year and so we come in a full circle!

It was good to be able to say that at long last we were doing the trip that we missed, even better on our own boat, our home. Little dreamed of then. To look across to see Epiphany moored was almost an emotional moment!

We left Bristol on a breezy sunny morning, winding easily in the Floating Harbour. Cabot Tower was in the distance. New developments and new pontoons are in progress.

We did a quick up and back into St Augustine’s Reach, under Pero’s bridge (a lifting bridge) and then easily passed under Princes Street Bridge.

We had taken down the satellite dish and the Chinese hat this time!

Old, new and restored buildings sit quite well together, lining the river, providing apartments, offices and private moorings. It did have a flavour of Reading, bigger, nicer, and not with the river flow!

Passing through the open Netham Lock and back onto the feeder canal.

Locking through Hanham lock and away from the jurisdiction of the Bristol City Council it felt almost like “coming home” onto BW territory again! We were really glad to have made the trip and would like to do it again sometime.

There are very few moorings on the River Avon in this stretch, but we hoped to moor somewhere near a pub so we could eat out. However there were no moorings at any convenient spot except just above Hanham and that was too soon. The next available were at Keynsham lock, but not fancied by either of us!

We continued up Swineford and Saltford locks, hoping there might be some moorings above Kelston lock at the Jolly Sailor. No such luck – all moorings taken, or private moorings or associated with Saltford Marina.

Along this stretch the cycleway follows the River, passing Kelston Park. The river passes under the A4 at New Bridge with its elegant stone arch. We were now on the outskirts of Bath. As we approached the bridge we spotted The Boat House pub, with moorings. We moored and settled the boat.

The moorings were technically not “overnight moorings” but we did not discover this until we went to the pub. No one was going to worry though, we were sure! We enjoyed an indifferent meal with slow service and were glad to hit the sac!

PS - "No Problem". Another one? - hardly, its a "fat boat" and not a patch on Sue and Vic's which now looks really good Sue!

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