We awoke this morning to the sad news of the second explosion at the Greymouth mine. As the days had gone past it seemed more and more likely that the miners were dead, maybe even killed in the first explosion, and personally I hope that was the case. The South Island has had a bad few months with the earthquake and now this dreadful tragedy.

Yesterday was a day for wandering around Berkhamsted and shopping. The Oxfam shop had some Brio in the window and we bought a tunnel and some track interchanges. Another shop had sledges and it had proved impossible to get one for our grandson in the last snowfalls so now we are all prepared for the coming cold weather. Alan went along to visit his former workplace.

The two nights in Berkhamsted were very peaceful but we met a couple on another boat today who said that when they were moored there and had parked their car nearby it was vandalised. As far as we are concerned its a pleasant place to spend a couple of days. It was beautifully bright this morning and for the first time in a few days there were several boats on the move so we found several of the locks in our favour. The stretch past The Boat and the Rising Sun is extremely attractive: there were a lot of boats moored on both sides to squeeze through.

We pottered on past Old Mill and through the first of the Bourne End Locks and then met another boat that had come up four locks to turn. They were having a very hard time of it because the water seemed very low, I was on the towpath while Alan hovered mid stream so I got them to throw me their bow rope and with me pulling as well they managed to get round. We then went down the locks with them as far as Winkwell where we had planned to stop. It was past 2.00 by that time and we were pretty hungry. When we got to Winkwell there were no mooring places at all and the lady on the other boat said that she had noticed as she went past every day that they had been there for some time.

We left them filling with water at the marina after the swing bridge and went on down the bottom Winkwell Lock to moor for lunch. Its a noisy spot with the railway bridge just ahead and the road is very close so we decided to go through a couple more locks before dark but when we got round the corner we remembered that the straight leading up to Boxmoor Top Lock is a good mooring place. The train line is close but not obtrusive and there is the best TV coverage that we have had since before Marsworth.

Sorry no pictures today, we have a fast connection but seem to have a problem with uploading images.

Today we did 3.21 Miles and 9 Locks

Statistics so far:-

2133.48 Miles, 1192 Locks, 120 Swing Bridges, 82 Lift Bridges, 36 Tunnels


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