Narrowboat AREandARE

From the 2009 & 2010 tantalising tales, traumas and stunning photographs of Barry (photographer) and Sandra (writer) from New Zealand aboard NB 'Northern Pride', to the stories of their 2013 return journey, purchase of 'AREandARE', progress on sustaining their live aboard continuous cruiser lifestyle, and Barry's quest to gain residency and 'Indefinite Leave to Remain' in UK ...

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Back from Barcelona and heading south!

We're now on the Shropshire Union Canal heading south to meet Barry's daughter Jamie somewhere around Worcester; though we may've been a little ambitious to think we could get that far in the next 5 days! Between where we're moored tonight and Wolverhampton there are 27 locks! OMG! It’s only 38 miles away, so would take less than an hour by car, but is actually likely to take us over 3 full days cruising by narrowboat at 3-4 miles an hour. Then it'll be another few days to get to Worcester. With a bit of luck we will also catch up with my daughter Kim and her partner Joe for the weekend (though we’re not really sure how it’s going to happen yet!), as well as my mum and dad for lunch on Sunday. So not a lot of time to rest, relax and take it easy so far - ah well, a life on the ocean waves...

Barcelona was amazing, what a vast city it is. We did an open top bus tour over 2 days; the first day was the east tour – almost 3 hours long, then the west tour – almost 2 hours long! It only takes about half an hour to drive around Gisborne (where Barry and I live in NZ), so kiwi friends will just have to imagine the hugeness of this city. The second day my friend Sarah and I walked down the La Rambla, then the seafront and got back on the bus and did a bit of Gaudi – what an amazing artist he was. We really just touched the surface of Barcelona, one day I hope to return and do some more exploring. The hen night was awesome, apart from the poor hen (bless you Kerry) having her camera and phone picked from her pocket (well handbag!) – damn those thieves! But she didn’t let it spoil her fun, and the angels and devils had lots of fun, frivolity and forfeits – mine was to do a conga which I duly did and led about a dozen Spanish men and women (at least I think there were women behind me too) around the square we were drinking in – it may even be on you-tube by now someone suggested! It was just so good to feel the warm sun once again…

At one of Gaudi's 'parks', and a small section of Barcelona in the distance

One of the 3 entrances to the Sagrada Familia - the amazing building 'may' be completed in 20 years time!!

Yes of course I was a little angel all night...

Eating paella on the first night in the square

Anyway, back to the narrowboat and the lovely Barry who had an equally fun weekend with Kath and Tim but without the dressing up, or at least if they did I haven’t seen the photos!
Tim and Kath on the Monday. Looking bright and refreshed after a weekend on the boat???

More shots of the Ponteysyllte Viaduct. 128 ft high

That's 'Northern Pride on top...

Started building in 1795. Finished 1805. 204years old and still just as strong.

Tim & Kath negotiating the viaduct

It’s blooming freezing here, windy and rainy; though we did have a touch of sunshine today and it may even have got into double figures though possibly only 12 degrees, brrrr…

Cole Mere. A mere is a lake with no water flowing in or out (a pond then??).

I’ve been getting quite brave and have managed a little driving into locks, and yes sometimes I literally did drive INTO the lock! But I’m improving, albeit very slowly! Barry doing the locks is another scary thing, he skips across the lock bridge thingy over the huge drop and reckons by the end of the trip I shall be doing it to - I don’t think so! I have to close my eyes and not watch him, just one false move and he’d be falling into the abyss…

The back wall of a lock, holding back the canal.

We are parked up tonight by a ‘secret nuclear bunker’ built for at the beginning of the second world war for the Ministry of Defence I think, so if the bomb goes tonight we’ll be OK so long as we get sufficient warning!

A full few days travelling to come, don’t think we are messing about on the river here, we’re working hard you know!!!!!


  1. So glad you had a good time in Barcelona.. i loved our girlie week end when we went a couple years ago... would love to go back...

    Amazing scenery photos.... you know we really should explore our own counties in England... we passed through Llangollen last year when we drove back from Port Merion... and stopped of in Bridgnorth for tea...x

    Must catch up with you soon..... have fun...take care xx
    hugs Maggie xx

  2. Oh my god..Im so hopeless at this...just had to ring my drunk sister on her birthday cos I cldnt work out how to talk to you!!!
    Its so cool to see your photos & read about what you are doing. It looks fantastic...even if the weather is a bit shit...its not exactly great here either!!!Life is all about rugby again at my house...5 games this weekend altho one of those was going to Hamilton to watch the chiefs v hurricanes last night. Great game..very exciting to see the chiefs win that one!
    I will enjoy following your progress now that Im learning this Blog stuff!! hadnt even heard of a blog till George had to set one up for school this year. take care. Luv Jan xx