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, 14 August 2010

Self-imposed delays and darkening days

We had a late start on Friday.  Unusually Barry was the one who wasn't up bright and early - not emerging from bed until 0930hrs!  The weather wasn't too promising, but Barry wanted to explore Great Bedwyn on his bike, while I chose the safer option and stayed on board catching up with some hand-washing -  we've so many visitors coming from Sunday onwards that I need to be up to date!  It was certainly not the best drying weather, but needs must and we can always finish it off by putting the radiators on later.


The railway line follows the canal, both of which run parallel with Great Bedwyn village 




          The village centre with the Crossed Keys pub










We should be allowed to choose the individual panel colours of cars - would be much more fun!

The birth place of Thomas Willis founder of Neurology (1621-1675)

P1310579A There's an abundance of stunning thatched cottages here


A Thatcher's paradise


One of the two stores in the village - a pint of milk, a loaf of bread and a tombstone please!





A charming old bakery - probably looks no different to a hundred years ago or more!








P1310598-Panorama1 The 12th-13th Century flint stone church at Great Bedwyn


P1310604 Opposite the church - houses with unusual brickwork designs - delightful

P1310591  Possibly built by an ancestor of the person who designed the car above

P1310607A Barry can't resist these shots of picture-perfect houses


Real chocolate box cottages

P1310611A  Today's flower shot comes from this attractive garden



Although we've been experiencing a bit of rain recently, something happened to the level of water where we were moored up. If you look back at yesterday's photograph of the boat moored up in front of us, and then the photo (left) taken this morning, you'll see what I mean!   Oo-er!



We eventually moved off about 500yds to the pump out and water point - luckily BW have fixed the pump out, as Sue from NB No Problem had informed us it was recently out of order.  Although our tank wasn't full, we thought it best to grasp the opportunity while we had it - wouldn't do to be full up without anywhere to pump out with visitors on board!  We then casually topped up with water too, cheekily having a spot of lunch at the service point before tackling the five locks of the day to Crofton Pumping Station almost at the summit of the Kennet & Avon. 

Just as we were getting ready to move, Rebecca and crew emerged from the tunnel to their mooring which was right next to us - we were easily swayed to hang around for a while longer chatting with them. What lovely people, we're so pleased we met you, don't work too hard back at the grindstone on Monday! They flatteringly said that meeting us was the highlight of their week's holiday - bless them!  Could be because Barry plied them with his home brew and shared some of his alchemy secrets with Glen ...

P1310619A We set off in the sunshine with an ominous sky ahead









Looking back at the church - then it's off through the locks again, though only five today


P1310655A Approaching the Crofton Pumping Station

P1310677A An old working boat sits sadly at the side of the canal

P1310694A The main east - west/south-west railway line passing the pumping station

We had another six locks to reach the summit when I saw the ever darkening sky and the next moorings near the Pumping Station, after lock 60, were in the bank again.  I so didn't want the same messy moorings as the last couple of nights, the boat is getting filthy from all the mud, so I swiftly suggested to Barry we moor at the concreted moorings right next to the Pumping Station and rest up for the night and luckily (for Barry!) he agreed and backed up to a neat little mooring spot.  Just as we were tying up the sky emptied itself of gallons of water - we'd managed to moor just in the nick of time!

The time was 1630hrs, and once the rain stopped, Barry took a walk to Pump Station but it closed at 1700hrs, opening on Saturday at 1030hrs so Barry will go then.  Amazingly (!) looking at steam engines is not really my cup of tea, but we'd seen a good write up about the Station in Canal Boat.  Someone must be looking after us as there's also the Kennet and Avon pull out guide in this month and last month's magazine which are coming in very handy!  I suspect a subscription will be in order to keep us up to date on canal news once we're back in the southern hemisphere.

P1310699A Sandra working the last lock for today

P1310710A Another view of the Pumping Station, housing two 19th century steam engines - more tomorrow!







Makes you dizzy doesn't it?!






P1310714 A plaque on the chimney


Impressive brickwork and symmetrically placed windowsP1310726A 














Couldn't choose between the above sunset shots so put all three in - sorry!

P1310759 The sluice paddles on Wilton Water where the water is pumped up from


Brilliant watching the trains flashing by at breakneck speed - we're the third boat back

We had another quiet night in, I did my cross stitch (a bit sad I know, but wonderful to have the time to do it and I started it last year and only have the outside to complete - I may never get the chance again!) while Barry did some work on the blog - we're making the most of them as next week Barry's friends from Brighton are coming from Monday evening until Friday, then Jamie (Barry's daughter) arrives Friday evening until Monday afternoon, so quiet nights in with just the two of us will be a thing of the past for while ...

P1310615A A pretty purple flower from Great Bedwyn - looks geranium-like but didn't know you could get them in this colour?  Must get some for our NZ garden if they do!


  1. The big sunset scene gets my vote!

  2. I think the flower may be phlox - can you show the leaves as that would help?

  3. The car is a 1995 VW Polo special edition called the Harlequin. It was built like that...