First, let’s get the negative stuff all out in the open.
We booked a five day canal cruise. We were told to pick up the boat at 3:30 and expect an hour or so of instruction. Then we had about a two hour sail until we should dock since you can’t sail after dark. This include 45 minutes though the 2018 metre Blisworth Tunnel, the third longest in the UK. Then we docked for the night. That constitutes Day One. Let’s skip to Day 5 when you have to be back at the marina by 9am and have all your stuff off by 9:30. So two of the 5 days are very, very short.
Hard beds which are the width of a double and have a ledge on one side where one can easily break the orbital bone around one’s eye when one rolls over. (Ed. note: Okay, maybe only Geoff could do this and he didn’t really break it, just hit it.)
There is nowhere to sit if you are outside.
Some people have difficulty adjusting to their land legs once the trip is over.
Now, let’s get to the good stuff.
Mal is a fantastic captain.
Terry is a great sub-captain.
Karen is a great meal organizer and “scullery maid”.
Geoff is a great rope catcher.
The quiet pace is incredibly relaxing.
The opportunity to find a fantastic Indian meal or pub meal was readily available.
The beer in the pubs is great
The scenery of bucolic, rural England was very special
Boat renters are very friendly and helpful as are the people walking the towpaths (Ed. note: Boat owners maybe not as friendly)
Opening and closing the locks is a great physical workout.
The wine in the pubs is great.
The towpaths are great places to go for runs in the morning and walks in the afternoon.
It is kind of like Venice – everyone should see/do it once in a lifetime.
A pictorial and captioned review of the cruise:
The Blisworth Tunnel
Life on the Canal
The Inns and Food
The menu at the New Inn
The Blisworth Church
And we Come to the End
The Shoe Blog
Okay, so maybe I am jumping the gun a bit, but rural England doesn’t lend itself to a lot of good shoe photos. I took this just after we got into London after leaving the north.