The Foxton locks were so much easier than I'd anticipated! All those arrow shapes on the map look a bit daunting but I didn't realise they are narrow locks and the friendly lock-keeper tells you what to do (red paddles first, followed by white) and they are easy. I was also able to cut the engine and just pull the boat into each lock, which was a peaceful ascent. I did the same coming down the Watford staircase locks today and it makes me feel just a tiny bit less guilty about my diesel burning :-(
The weather was still gorgeous and with roses draping themselves over anything that stood still, it all looked like a picture postcard. I saw this mangle - just the thing for my clothes washing, though I'd need a butty to fit it in.
Loads of people at the pub on the Foxton junction and spilling out of the tea-shop. I did the tourist thing and looked in at the canal museum and bought a lolly before heading out into an emptier and more beautiful landscape at the foot of the Laughton hills. Lovely.
One thing that did make me angry though, was passing a canalside residence (I'd say a house except that several families could have lived there), complete with smart new stables, garages, huge 4X4, horse-boxes, etc and seeing a sign on a tree saying 'No mooring in front of the property'. Well, I gave my opinion as loud as I could but think I just scared the horses..
I got tempted to explore the Welford arm - it just looked so green and secluded and it is! I think it's only a couple of miles, with one little lock at the end but I'd recommend a visit. Welford has a 'pocket garden' conservation area, turning a roadside bit of land into something special. I loved this carved fox :-)
This boat name and location made me smile.
Then on to Crick, its amazing thatched houses, scarecrow celebration (shame I will miss it - if I stood still, I might have won a prize) and scary tunnel. I'm getting better at these as it's my third over the last couple of weeks and I have the Braunston one coming up, but I must admit, my heart is in my throat every time I plunge into that dark dome!