Today saw the first ice on the canal. It wasn’t thick but there was a great crunching as we went through it and into the second Apsley lock. The lock beams were icy as well and I took extra care to hold on as I crossed the locks. However there was lovely warm sunshine and it was really pleasant today to walk between locks.
We hadn’t planned to travel far, just to Kings Langley where we thought we would go for our Friday night early evening drink to the Saracen’s Head. It was a toss up between that and the Hunton Bridge pubs which are pretty good but the moorings are right next to the busy A41.
There were four locks only today, half in our favour. As we passed the Apsley Marina we spotted Ara and Archimedes, the diesel and coal boats for this part of the Grand Union. No one aboard but another boater said they would be loading up on Monday and travelling back down so we will be looking out for them. At present we are leaving the diesel fire on every night and it looks as if we will do so for some time to come.
Our mooring tonight is above Kings Langley lock where the River Gade leaves the canal and there is a lovely wide open spot. There are houses on the far side but the wide stretch of water means that they aren’t too close. It was bathed in sunshine when we arrived and looked lovely. We went for a walk up and around the village because we are now so close to home that I was able to go into my optician’s to collect a new pair of reading glasses. We went past the Rose and Crown which was, for some years, a great pub for live music. We would often go there on a Saturday night to see Blues Bands: the ‘Johnny Mars Blues Band’ and ‘Snake hip Johnson and the shuffling Hungarians’ were great favourites of ours. Then the landlord left and the new landlord had different musical tastes though we still went to hear some of the bands. Our son’s first band even played there one night: they were still at school and a lot younger than the management expected but went down well. Finally the pub closed for refurbishment and to our great sadness re-opened as an Ember Inn.
Today we did 1.81 Miles and 4 Locks
Statistics so far:-
2137.12 Miles, 1200 Locks, 120 Swing Bridges, 82 Lift Bridges, 36 Tunnels