Tuesday & Wednesday 24/25 August
Sandra: I spent these days pottering around with my mum and dad visiting Worcester and Stourport. After shopping in Lidl's, my dad suggested we take a walk along the canal in Stourport, and despite the drizzle it seemed like a good plan. Whilst strolling along I noticed a boat passing by with a NZ silver fern flag flying so called out to the man on the stern. We got chatting and his wife asked if I was off the 'photography boat' from Gisborne - it turned out that she was originally from Gisborne, Barry knows her sister Lynn and husband David well, who'd told them about us before they left NZ so they'd been looking out for us! It's such a small world isn't it? They'd borrowed a friend's boat for three months and were returning to Napier in NZ the following Monday having had a fabulous time. Great to meet you Diana and John.
Barry: After the changeable weather we've been having I opened the curtains at 6:30 am to a brilliantly clear sunny morning. Now I definitely have to get on my bike and head to the Clifton Suspension Bridge. I had no idea how to get there just the general direction, so followed the contour of the harbour as much as possible. I can see why it was voted top city for cyclists. Everyone is so courteous to you, giving way all over the place whether on foot or in their cars. You can just about ride anywhere you like without people getting upset.
What a spectacular sight slung high up on the cliff above The Avon. Worthy of an early start
These locks are on a far grander scale than we're used to handling
The Clifton Suspension Bridge is another one of Isambard Kingdom Brunel's creations, started in 1831 and finally completed in 1864 after all sorts of financial and political issues
Bristolian Samuel Plimsoll who devised the plimsoll line as a safety feature to prevent ships overloading and capsizing
A map of Bristol showing the floating harbour and The Avon River as it passes by
The old lighthouse outside Lloyds The ketch 'Irene'
Pete and Ashley from Bristol Marina turned up about 11.00am with the repaired pump motor for the toilet, fitted in no time and job's done. Unfortunately I couldn't get underway at that point as when I'd phoned the lock keeper at Netham Lock yesterday he informed me they were doing a flush out of one harbours within the floating harbour, and the current coming through the lock would be too strong for us. This meant I couldn't start till after 2:30pm giving me time for another bike ride around Bristol.
The cobbled streets just after the rain
Two of the bridges that cross The Avon as it by passes the floating harbour
Some more facades from around Queen's Square
I set off about 3:00pm making good progress, though as I neared Totterdown old lock where it narrowed the current got a little stronger. Pulling in at Netham Lock, the lock keeper suggested waiting another hour as the flow was still quite fast though he did say I could go if I wanted. So there seemed no harm in trying, so at a snails pace I edged through the lock out onto the river and away.
magnificently restored ...
which will last the longest??
Pigeon homes a plenty amongst the many nooks and crannies
At last reaching the lock keepers cottage at Netham Lock
I'm certainly happier to be going under this busy bridge than driving over it
The 'Maid of Fibre' boat completely covered in sign writing
A cottage near Hanham Lock and finally to Keynsham Lock for the night
It was dinner on board, then off to the 'Lock Keeper' pub for a drink. For a Tuesday night it was amazingly busy and I got into conversation with Rob who's moored at the nearby marina on a narrowboat (Dolphin) he'd recently bought from Warrington by Liverpool and had it trucked down to Bristol. I'd hope to catch up with him the next day but it poured with rain continuously and I didn't venture out of the boat until deciding to set off about 5:00pm to get closer to Bath. Sorry not to catch up Rob.
Managed to get to Saltford Lock before mooring after it against the bank. About three miles and two locks. It poured all the way so no pictures for Wednesday. Had to balance on a couple of rocks to get off the boat for a pint at the 'Jolly Sailor' pub. Because of the weather it wasn't terribly busy in there, so it was a reasonably early night.