Old Linslade to Slapton : 6 miles, 3 locks
To date : 330 miles, 175 locks
What a day!
Our first lock was interesting. We had a class of young school children and their teachers learning about locks. They were very excited to find a boat coming up the lock and we answered solemn questions about how many locks we'd be going through today and if it was hard work.
Then we headed to the Leighton Buzzard Tesco mooring. What a
great place to be able to stop for 2 hours and go shopping. We did our shop at Tesco and while I got lunch sorted, Mick walked to the post office to collect a precious envelope.... our tickets for the Crick Boat Show. We have a car booked with Enterprise and I'd called them at the Milton Keynes office when I booked it to check they'd be willing to collect us from beyond Leighton Buzzard. I called again this morning to double check. The fellow said that was fine - they'd send a car from Leighton Buzzard but he'd call me back to confirm. Our goal was to moor somewhere near the Grove Lock Marina.
As we left the 2 hour moorings and stopped at the water point just beyond, the rain came. Despite our plan to avoid cruising in the rain there are times it's simply unavoidable and today was one of them. Grove Lock turned out to be unsuitable to moor so we were forced on in the rain... and hail! Everyone was rather soggy and miserable and Mick was rather grumpy. There were long stretches where mooring on the towpath was impossible and the few places where it would have been ok were full of boats. We eventually reached Slapton and there was excellent moorings. Finally. It was a big relief.
I came in and rang Enterprise as nobody had called me back. Now the fellow says they can't pick us up outside of a Milton Keynes postcode! That's not what they told me the other day nor what he told me this morning. He said they could send us a car from Leighton Buzzard but it would cost an extra £40. I wasn't happy. There was no way we could get ourselves to Milton Keynes from Slapton and if he'd told me this morning we could have stayed back at a place where the postcode was right. I rang Leighton Buzzard myself and this fellow was much more helpful. He called me back a short while later quoting a price less than they were going to charge us at Milton Keynes and we arranged a pickup from the nearest pub. Perfect.
It was a relief to be moored up and to have the car hire sorted. It's been a big day.
Not many photos on a rainy day :
1. The Globe Inn at Old Linslade
2. - 3. Lockside buildings
4. A gaggle of school kids