UK 4

On the water in Bristol at 8.15am and then off up the Avon. Lots of rowers, a couple of kayakers and some walkers probably looking for a coffee somewhere. It didn’t take long to go through Bristol and then it was back into the countryside again.

It took about 2½ hrs to reach the first lock on the Avon. The drop was bugger all, a bit over a foot, but it was flowing too fast and was too slippery so I headed over to the lock. The boat coming out closed the lock gate on me and by the time I parked and ascertained the situation there were two boats coming down. Luckily they were very nice people because there were no more in sight. I paddled in before they came out and they lent me their windlass to fill the lock when they left. They also stayed to close the gate when I Ieft. Can I remember their names? Nope, but I told them that. The boat is …..  Bugger I kept reciting it all day. Maybe they will pick this up on Facebook and help me out. Anyway, despite their funny accent (maybe Jordie?) they were lovely people.

At the next lock which was about halfway to Bath I met a group of four paddling to Bristol for the day. One of the guys looks after the media for the Bloodhound which is getting ready to be the fastest car in the world. 1000mph, that’s right, miles per hour. I love that sort of thing but I can’t help thinking the money might have been better spent trying to ensure the earth would be liveable for humans in 100 years. Not everyone gets how serious the situation is though.

Paddling on through leafy glades I saw quite a few sets of steps cut into the bank and a couple of groups cutting some more. Apparently at the end of summer they re-cut the steps and get ready for a winter fishing competition. One of the blokes digging had the temerity to mention the ashes, but I couldn’t really worry about the thoughts of some English nutter digging steps in a canal bank in the middle of nowhere.

It was warm, 28 degrees, and two lovely young ladies were swimming along the canal between a couple of barges. They reckoned the water had cooled down which maybe it had, seeing as their summer was way back in June and lasted two days. Sorry, that’s a bit harsh today made it three days. It was just a wee bit cool for my liking but they seemed to be enjoying themselves.

I did get sick of the locks, particularly after the mob with the standup paddle boards said there were two, maybe three to go and I had lugged the kayak up the steps of the fourth one. Jools came and picked me up there and we called it a day just as I was in the suburbs of Bath.

Right in the centre of Bristol. It really is a floating sea port2015-08-28 13.26.14

Even Captain Cook parks here2015-08-28 13.26.47

Just a baby for the lock. SS Great Britain will fit2015-08-28 13.30.20

A slow rowing boat to chase.  (It’s way up near the bridge)2015-08-28 13.33.03

And here are some fast guys. They were practising their starts.  If you look closely you can see the head of the cox in the bow.2015-08-28 14.11.12

Rowing club 3 miles upstream.  I saw two fours, one eight and many singles2015-08-28 14.22.20

First obstacle, just a tiddler but back to the lock2015-08-28 15.02.32

Looking back as the two boats go out2015-08-28 15.16.47

Thanks to a lovely couple as I exit. Ah ha Kimberley J—-. John or Joe maybe, now I remember.2015-08-28 15.24.10

Why would you have lee boards on a canal boat. They were common here2015-08-28 15.28.29

Pretty good eh!2015-08-28 15.48.51

Steps cut for the fishing competition


2015-08-28 15.51.48

Bugger. Left or right? Take the left.2015-08-28 16.01.23

And up we go2015-08-28 16.07.11

The one going to Bristol2015-08-28 16.23.25

Another bummer. This is the beam you push to close the lock gate2015-08-28 17.14.12

The average man would have been fed up with locks by now2015-08-28 17.18.56

This bypass was easy2015-08-28 17.37.20

And this one2015-08-28 17.55.11

A train goes past at 130kph but does not scream like the Gold Coast one2015-08-28 18.12.49

Coming into Bath2015-08-28 18.34.09