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 ...

Saturday 13 June 2009

Shakespeare Country

Northern Pride at the Marina with a shiny new bottom!

Thursday evening
We said our farewells and gave thanks to the lock keeper Chris and his wife Joan – what a friendly and generous couple they are - how lucky was I to be marooned on their island? I'm very grateful.

Some more Evesham shots ...

Evesham (Workman's) bridge in the early morning light

Moored up by the bridge at Evesham

The other side of the river

Evesham Abbey

The riverside walk

Unusual boat Steering handle

'Castles and roses' - seen at the top of many narrowboats

Evesham Rowing Club

The 'Round' House - not sure why it's called that!

Leaving Evesham ...

We’ve driven up river today, it’s great to be on the move – but it was all against the flow which at times meant it felt almost as though we were travelling backwards! We met a nice couple in one of the locks, on narrowboat Crystal Haze, who've come up the Bristol Channel and through Sharpness and Gloucester – oh no! They told Barry we can get insurance for 10 pounds to go up there, and I had told him that our insurance wouldn’t cover us so thought that idea would be gone! Hopefully he isn’t going to change his mind now and say he wants to travel south, I’m pretty sure he won’t!

The Bridge Inn at Offenham - where Bob took me out to dinner while Barry was away

Barry tried once more to lose his camera – is it doomed I wonder? He put it down on the side of the lock and then forgot all about it until we were leaving. Suddenly the boat stopped and he hurriedly tied us up, and very sheepishly said “I’m just going back for my camera” – I think its days are numbered! Twice in one day is not good. I think he must still be a bit jet lagged, bless him!

Derelict old mill - I think they must have had 'trouble' here

We moored in Bidford-on-Avon; a very pretty place. Barry went for a bike ride to explore the local villages - he returned with mud up to his knees and stinging nettles stings up his legs from cycling down a very muddy hill! Honest, he’s like a little boy on a new adventure everyday, it’s wonderful!!

After dinner we explored Bidford and the local cemetary then found a good village pub, the Falcon Inn, where Shakespeare indulged in a drinking bout in 1616 and while wandering home and sleeping under "Shakespeare's Crab" on Tower Hill, the bard caught the chill that led to his death.

Evening walk - the graveyard at night - the church of St Lawrence dates from 1276 but was replaced in 1835

Friday 12 June
We had a walk along the river to Barton and went to a little pub called ‘The Cottage of Content’ – a very quaint establishment with a very friendly landlady and clientele.

Cute houses in Barton

Drinking at the 'Cottage of Content'

After lunch - a fresh roll from the bakers eaten sitting beside the weir - we set off up river again. We tried to moor at Welford-on-Avon, but found no public moorings there despite our map saying there would be! So we had to continue on to Luddington where we moored up for the night. Barry went off again on his bike ride and returned saying there must be an awful lot of money around here – the houses are all huge – where do they all get so much money from we wonder?!

Oh yes, and Barry really did leave his camera at a lock today – only remembered when he went to take a picture of a poppy field and we had to turn around and go back to the lock. Luckily no-one else had come through and it was still there sitting on the grass at the side of the lock …

Saturday 13 June

Today we've travelled up to Stratford-on-Avon and visited Shakespeare's birthplace (photo's to follow tomorrow). I also persuaded Barry that we should see a Shakespeare play while we're here so we have tickets for 'A Winter's Tale' on Monday night. I just know he's going to try and get out of it though!

My mum and dad are coming to see us tomorrow and we'll go up river and then back to Stratford where we'll do an open top bus tour on Monday. Barry asked whether Stratford is famous for anything else other than Shakespeare - not that I know of! Isn't that enough thinks I, but then that may be because I love Shakespeare!

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