On the homebound stretch now, days so far on the river appear to be fairly lazy, easy going and short. Today was a planned 4 locks and 9 miles between Barton Lock and Evesham Lock, wanting to stop just short of Evesham central moorings to keep the peace & quiet.
Just as we were thinking about getting ready to head off, a boat was coming the other way up the lock, win! Always good as then you don’t waste water and someone else has just done half the work for you. Another narrowboat arrives and comes in with us, a couple from Wales on a mission. Was lovely to hear their accent reminding me of family. They were aiming to get all the way down to Tewkesbury today, let them leave the locks first then!
Lock number 2 was Marlcliff lock, there seemed to be a big of delay as the welshies were on the lock landing and we could see another narrowboat in front of them. To be fair we had been told this time of year there may be queues for the locks. Turns out it was due to the 1st narrowboat (a day hire boat from Bidford) having a mechanical problem. A man came to fix it and they got in the lock. Glad to have more lock landing available to come into now, as hovering in the river going downstream towards a weir is a little challenging. The welshies went in with day boat leaving us to go in by ourselves.
Lock 3 was Harvington Lock, a plastic arrived with 2 people and 3 dogs. They were super friendly and we chatted merrily working the lock together. Plastics are always faster than narrowboats so we offered for them to go first.
Lock 4 was Offenham Lock, a busy lock but with plenty of mooring. Bumped into a boat we know from the marina, we had time to chat and catch up on news as the day hire boat was ready to go in and the plastic had finished their Elsan loo drop and collected water. We hung back in the sunshine to let them pass and slowly followed them down afterwards.
Lock 5 was Evesham Lock, we had planned to stay above this lock but the visitor mooring wasn’t obvious so went down the lock with the plastic. They are local and when we mentioned this they explained where the mooring was and a good alternative if we didn’t want to turn around. We decided to spin around and come back up the lock.
There were 3 narrowboats wanting to come up waiting outside the lock so 2 went in, re-set the lock and then we went in with number 3. You’re warned the upstream locks of the Avon could be quite fierce and now i have first hand experience of it (and that was a relatively tame one!)
Pulled over and the local lock house occupant helped us find the right bollards to moor to so we didn’t get charged. A brief walk to Aldi (finding more stuff in the middle aisle that we hadn’t set out to buy) we’re back on for the night to chill!
Today’s video can be found here: https://youtu.be/H85v-bfIJGc