Sunday, April 21, 2013

Monday 20th April

We have terrible internet access tonight so I am typing this up this evening (20/04/2013) and will post when I can.

This morning was absolutely wonderful. Sunny and calm. With the sun streaming in the lounge windows, I was awake and up by 8:15am. We left our lovely mooring by Luddington Lock to make our way into Stratford before our midday deadline. 

River Avon - early morning

Wier on the approach to Trinity Lock

Holy Trinity Church - where Shakespeare is buried

Approach to Stratford on Avon town center along the River Avon

The renovated Royal Shakespeare Theatre
Turns out that at Stratford end they do not even check your licence, so we need not to have huried. What we had not known until late last night though is that Stratford-on-Avon was holding a festival to celebrate the birth of Shakespeare, 449 years ago! All roads into town had been closed, there were masses of people everywhere. They had street parades, bands, dancing and other entertainment.

Masses of people celebrating Shakespeare's Birthday

Mooring in the Bancroft Basin - Stratford on Avon
Dancers performing near the basin

Basically, a very rude reminder of city life after we had been on the quiet rivers for just over 8 days. There was plenty of mooring space in the basin, not at all what we expected. So we moored up anyway, had a bite to eat and a discussion on what to do. The original plan had been to stay overnight and do a bit of tourist stuff and restock the groceries. After less than an hour we made the decision to move on. There were just too many people for our liking! Any touristy trips would have been packed with other bodies. In the end, we made a quick dash to Sainsbury Local to get enough to get us through the next 2 days and we were off again. We might decide to come back this way when we travel back up north after our weekend with Jody and Gina. We will do the tourist bit then. I can see it happening as Andrew is keen to cruise the river again and it will be very different now that the weather is warming and the trees will either still be in flower or in full summer leaf.

We had our own bit of entertainment in the guise of a hireboat full of female partiers at the top of the second lock on the way out of town. Andrew ended up hopping aboard their boat to give them a hand and some friendly boat handling advice. Little did he know, as he walked on to the next lock, that they had wanted to kidnap him :) Where would that have left me :(

We continued up the Wilmcote flight, in the heat of the day. Who would have thought that would ever happen! I am sure that we both have a bit of sunburn! At the top of the flight, with the sun still high in the sky we cruised on until the day started to cool. The Stratford and Avon Canal up to this point has been quite pretty and interesting. Especially these very narrow bridges over the canal. It has been a bit like threading a needle.

Wilmcote Wharf - converted to housing

Crossing Edstone Aqueduct

A female Kestrel
We are now happily moored out in the country again, with the next flight in sight. For tomorrow :)

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