A late start, SWMBO’s knee still a bit iffy, and nine wide locks out of Apsley and we’d had enough, mooring up as far as practical from Mr Branson’s Incredibly Noisy Trains – the promised delights of Berkhamstead would have to wait for another day. First up the next morning were Sewer Lock and Bottom Side Lock, and we were seriously wondering whether we should worry about the water quality. And then some more locks and we finally staggered into Berkhamstead just before lunch.
The promised moorings right next to the shops proved much more secluded than we’d dare hope: the Captain was most impressed. A most splendid café lunch in the busy high street, a mooch around the shops and the obligatory visit to the cook’s favourite grocery emporium preceded a late afternoon nap for the entire crew. (Well, to be honest, there aren’t many daylight hours when Sir isn’t napping).
Too late to start cooking, an evening walk along the towpath in pleasant sunshine worked up an appetite for dinner – two meals out in one day! Shock Horror!
We’re not sure why a canal-side block of flats should sport an (apparently genuine) totem pole.
This old building seems to have jumped the gun on that nice Mr Osborne’s threat or promise to allow vertical home extensions without planning permission.
And while this towpath residence seems to have cornered the market in blue plant pots, it also seemed to be home for another friendly feline.
But most important of all, the proximity to Waitrose’s entrance meant one could indulge in that rare treat (on the canals, at least) of a second breakfast of croissants still warm from the baker’s oven, to go with the free coffee. Definitely a result.