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, 25 June 2009

Re-discovering England ...

Wednesday 24th June
After completing the insurance claim form, we had to return to the library to photocopy it and then off to the Post Office to get it sent. So we had another walk around Warwick and found even more little nooks and crannies for Barry to photograph! I've visited Warwick previously to go to the castle with family, but have no recollection of actually looking around the city (is it a city or is it a town? In England you can only be called a city if you have a Cathedral, whereas in New Zealand as soon as your population is more than 30,000 you become a city!). Though the shops aren’t wonderful and seem to be spaced out between 2 or 3 different parts of town, it has a really cosmopolitan atmosphere and we loved the market square where people were sitting drinking wine and beer at 11 o’ clock in the morning!

Huge town square with two cafe bars to sit outside on sunny days

East Gate in Warwick, one of the four gates into the ancient town. Under the arch was where Barry previously photographed the doves

One of two 'Pillar Post' boxes at the town gates

Barry says this is a Rastfarian house!

Two sundials, one set to daylight saving and one isn't!

The bear is the sign of Warwckshire - not a very good advert for the police having a caged bear!

Spread 'em Sandra!! These used to be prisoners' doors

How would you list this one Jim - 'Handyman's dream' , or 'a nice little doer upper' maybe?!

We left our moorings at 1150, just before our deadline to leave at 1200, and headed east towards Braunston & Rugby.

A moorhen's nest next to a mooring for water

We stopped just after lunch in Royal Leamington Spa. It’s apparantly called ‘Royal’ because Queen Victoria stayed there once, so they wrote to her and asked if they could be called ‘Royal’ and she said yes – as simple as that!!! Hilarious. I don’t think I’ve ever visited Leamington either. That is one of the many joys of this trip, seeing an England that I never even knew existed – both on the canals and in the towns, cities and villages that most people by-pass on their way somewhere, usually by driving at great speed on motorways wanting to get from A to B as quickly as possible without time to smell the roses on the way. We feel very privileged to have this opportunity.
Leamington has a Royal Pump Room, similar to Bath but no actual waters to be seen, just the exhibition – but it was free! It’s amazing that in days gone by it was thought to be beneficial to drink the saline water and eat everything BUT fruit and vegetables.
Coming into Leamington. Wouldn't like to step out those doors!

Pub opposite where we moored up. Loud Pink Floyd playing!

One of the Georgian streets of Leamington Spa

The Pump Rooms

The Hamman - Turkish style steam room

We also had a walk around the very pleasant Jephson Park (and an ice cream), where there were lots of groups of teenagers making the most of the fine day. I think it must be exam time so many of them are off apart from going in for exams.
Jephson Park

Geese seem to love weirs!

Church in Leamington
Moving on along the canal, and a few more locks to work - it was the most beautiful blue sky day and we both took advantage of the sunshine and stripped off! Barry did most of the locks as my eyes were really playing me up.

Barry managed to get a photo of us together!! Well sort of! Looking down my cleavage!

Bollards! Unusual mooring pins

Beautiful 'rapeseed' field, such a glorious yellow colour and striking against the almost clear blue sky

This is the life ...

Lock reflections

Barry taking a self-portrait

And another lock ...

We noticed last night a comment from my hosts at Evesham Lock on one of our blogs and knew that they had started out on the same canal as us last Saturday. I had just been thinking about them when we went past their boat ‘Anghara’ (I think I’ve spelled that correctly?!) moored up! So we stopped and had a chat with them, how lovely it was to see them – especially as Barry had forgotten to take a photo of them both before we left the lock. They have 16 days off to go as far as they get on the Oxford Canal.

Christopher, Joan and Sandra

Almost the end of the days travels ...

Cooling down, last lock of the day

Leaky last lock!
Then on to our final stop of the day at Long Itchington, dinner and a drink in ‘The Two Boats’ right by the canal. Unfortunately we had no internet coverage, so the blog will be posted tomorrow …

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