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 ...

Thursday, 21 May 2009

"What a bugger!"

Tuesday 19 May
A very wet and windy day in Tewkesbury. Barry spent the morning pulling piping and taps off the basin in the bathroom and the shower outlet as there were a few leaks. He found a good hardware store in town for his bits and pieces, his handyman skills are all being put to good use, no slacking here!

We stayed moored up by the bridge until late afternoon when the sun came out, and rather than pay another £3 for a night’s stay, we travelled up to the Marina to fill up with diesel and water and then on to Eckington.

There aren’t many moorings along the rivers, very different to the canals, and at Eckington there was only room for 2 narrowboats. Luckily we were the only boat wanting a berth for the night, we’re not sure how boaters manage during high season? I felt quite isolated being the only narrowboat moored in a place that appeared to be in the middle of nowhere, but close by a frequently used by young people car park! But all was well, and we were still moored up Wednesday morning…

Leaving Tewksbury
The River goes underneath the M5 - frequently travelled on my way down South
Lovely bridge at Eckington

Dusk light on the river, beautiful

Our isolated mooring...

Wednesday 20 May
Not the best of days, we received a phone call from NZ with some bad news that may mean Barry has to return in the near future for a couple of weeks. We think our travel insurance will cover a trip back, so that’s good news, but heaven knows what we will do with the boat if it comes to that. We will be looking at seeing if a Marina can give us a mooring for a few weeks. There is NO WAY I am going to be travelling anywhere alone on a narrowboat.

The locks on the river are infinitely more scary than those on the canals we have experienced so far, they're huge and would fit at least 2 boats in them and the lock bridges are so heavy I find it really difficult to open them. And when the lock gates are opened the boat moves all over the place so has to be tied up fore and aft (I know what that means now!), though Barry did decide in one lock that he really didn't need to do that but could just hold the middle rope - not a good idea Barry, the poor little boat didn't like it all, go on, admit that you were wrong!!! Take me back to the canals soon…

Anyway, we had a walk into Eckington, another very pretty little village with lots of black and white thatched cottages. Some very large homes, I think it may be a rather priviledged place to live! We had a drink in the Anchor Inn where they had a pensioners special for lunch ₤3.75 – I must tell my parents as they are always looking for a bargain, especially my mum so she doesn’t have to cook bless her! The pub was filled with pensioners getting their money’s worth, and Barry had a pint of ‘Piddle Down Under’ – one of the many ‘Piddle’ Real Ales from Wyre Piddle! I tried one of the local ciders, very nice.

One of the many thatched cottages in Eckington

Another one...

Amazing work on the windows

We left up the River Avon early afternoon and cruised up to Pershore. The evening was spent sitting on the path by the river (is it still a towpath? I think not, but not sure what it’s called! A riverpath maybe?!) in the setting sun. It’s been a lovely day weather wise, which makes a change lately and I think is just one day out of many as the forecast is for rain once more tomorrow. We were anxious to know what was happening on the other side of the world...

Great Comberton Church

'Parson's Folly' at the top of Bredon Hill, built by an 18th century eccentric so that he could stand 1,000 ft above sea level!

Another amazing riverside home

Pershore Great Bridge (400 years old) and Pershore New Bridge

A ttree full of mistletoe - not birds nests!

A collection of shots of the local wildlife spotted along the riverbank...

We were not sure what the next few days would bring, our plans would be altered somewhat, but that's life…

Thursday 21 May
Not good news, Barry will be going back to NZ for a couple of weeks due to family illness so we have to find a mooring for me and the boat. Luckily I spoke with our travel insurance and they'll reimberse us for his trip - fingers crossed some red tape doesn't decide otherwise, but no matter, it's only money.

So we've travelled further than we were planning up the River Avon and arrived this evening in Evesham where we're hoping to get somewhere at the Marina here. At the same time we may be able to get the boat's bottom blacked so that we can use the static time usefully. We met some lovely people on a barge coming up the river who may know someone, who knows someone, who may be able to pull some strings…

More horrid huge locks, though we did share the work with other boats along the way so not as bad as just the two of us!

We're off out in to Evesham tonight, I just can’t be bothered to cook. Life is strange with its twists and turns isn’t it? Barry lives the whole of his life in one small city in NZ, apart from 6 months in UK in 1976, and 6 weeks after he finally leaves for a 6 month sojourn his world is turned upside down once more. As I said, one never knows what the next day will bring…

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