Thursday 27th October 2016

After yesterday’s 22 locks we deserved a leisurely morning, well Christine did anyway as she did all the locks, not that I didn’t want to do them but Christine struggled in the deep, double locks with her shoulders trying to control the boat, hence she did all the locks.

Last night we wanted to get to the canal basin but as it was getting late we called it a day and pulled up.  This morning the map said we were about 5 minutes from the basin so I walked to find it leaving Christine to have a shower.

The (so called) basin is actually the start of the original Warwick & Birmingham canal opened in 1799, but in the 20th century a railway line came along and dissected the canal.  The short canal that was left soon became derelict but 25 years ago the Saltisford Canal Trust was created and together with numerous enthusiastic volunteers stepped in and restored this short arm that it is today.  The revenue needed to keep this arm of the original canal going comes from day boat hire, short and long time moorings, visitor moorings and a chandlery/gift shop.

When I enquired if we could come in and moor, I was told I was very fortunate as he had a 60 ft., boat just leaving and I could have his space.  It was a good thing we didn’t try to get in last night, as they were full!!!!!!!  I was told the first night was free but the subsequent nightly rate was £5.50 per night: I booked 2 nights.

Back to the boat with this news and after we had eaten we cast off and trundled off to the entrance, my it was narrow, boats moored both sides with minimal clearance, still we got to near the end where we had to turn round as we had to reverse down the final part, past a number of boats and into our slot.  Reversing a canal boat is probably the hardest things I have ever had to do with a boat, steering seems non existent, the boat kicks quickly one way so we kept having to straighten up and we were warned the opposite side of the canal was very shallow so keep close to the moored boats.  Anyway without mishap we slotted in between two other boats, moored up and I had my shower.

Town beckoned so off we set and after a 20 minute walk was in Warwick, the town centre.  It had been many years since I had been here and Christine hadn’t been here so that was good.  I clearly remember the historical significance of the area from School and it was nice to note all the shops seemed “local” we didn’t see the big chains in the High Street, we were told if we wanted those we had to go into Royal Leamington Spa, a bus ride away; we were happy not to go there!!!!!

We wandered around admiring the various buildings etc., when Christine spotted a nail bar, and she needed remedial action after yesterdays “herculean effort” with all the locks, she went into the nail bar and I waited in the local Costa.  Whilst there I looked on line for a good, well recommended restaurant that we could go to for lunch and I found one only two doors up from the nail bar, how odd was that? Must have been fate!

Christine joined me for Coffee and as it was too early for lunch, continued meandering around the town.  Whilst walking e came across an old building called the Lord Leycester Hospital with a fascinating garden but this building was never a medical establishment, it was just a collection of buildings that are now open to the public, for a fee of course!!!!  Talking about entry fees, we are noting how expensive it is to enter some of these establishments these days, even being “pension esters” doesn’t cut much ice!!!!!!

It was lunch time so off we trotted back into the market place but on the way spotted a mans outfitters selling security pouches for credit cards.  There was a warning on TV that one can buy a app for one’s ‘phone and brush up against somebody’s wallet and with the new contactless facility on credit cards, obtain all the information and then use it illegally.  These pouches are lined so protect the cards.  We have been looking for them for some time and now we have one, so we then continued to our lunch venue.

We arrived to find the restaurant fairly busy, always a good sign; got our table and studied the menu.  I brought Christine to “Micatto”,  www.micatto.com  a highly recommended and well-regarded Italian restaurant as I felt much of her exhausting lock work was due to me, just wanting to push on, and on, and on; I am continually being reminded we are on holiday and not in any rush! Anyway that’s why we were here

We had an excellent meal, the full works, washed down with copious amounts of wine, we wont need to eat again today we decided.

Having recovered from the bill we needed to walk our lunch off so headed for Warwick Castle. This famous castle, set in its fine grounds and maximising its history to the full with visitors from all around the world is a spectacular site, unfortunately we had arrived to late do it justice; not enough hours left in the day to get around so just carried on walking around its perimeter.  Naturally Warwick Castle, like all medieval Castles is built up on a hill, well from the canal boat we walked up to the town across to the castle then down the hill again as we walked around their perimeter fence.  Unfortunately we were on the opposite of the hill so up we went again, across town then back down stopping at Sainsbury’s en route to get some shopping in.

Arriving back at Foggy’s Notion a little exhausted and still full from lunch we settled down for a quiet night, but again no TV so we played Crib and read our books though we were both in bed fairly early.  We also decided tomorrow we would take a bus into Royal Leamington Spa and see what they have to offer.

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