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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Royal Leamington Spa to Saltersford Arm Warwick.

Tuesday 15th July.

Royal Leamington Spa to Saltersford Arm Warwick. 3.8 miles and 2 locks
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The sun was shining and we were on our way at 8.40 am, heading firstly for Tesco near Warwick, where we could stock up on provisions. We crept past Colin and Margaret on NB Seeburg, who we had got to know late yesterday afternoon, after they moored up in front of us.
The scenery is pretty uninspiring, and nothing to get over excited about, so having arrived at Tesco at 9.25 am we found ourselves somewhere to moor and went and did our shopping. Having arrived back at the boat, I was putting the shopping away, when I heard voices, and who should it be but Colin and Margaret on NB Seeburg, they had moored behind us and were off to get their shopping done. We continued on our way at 10. 50 am towards the locks where we paired up with another boat to do the pair of locks. We saw moored up NB Valerie, but there was no sign of Les, so we continued on, we then parted company with the boat we shared the locks with, as they continued on their way and we took a sharp left hand turn into the Saltersford Arm. We met coming in the other direction the Willow Wren boat Dipper, who was coming out of the arm to turn around, having done a pump out. We managed to pass each other and we continued up the arm, noticing two people waving at us, those people were Merleen and Paul on NB Lady Celine; they now have a residential mooring in the arm. We were instructed by Ian who looks after the arm to turn Hadar around in the winding hole and moor outside of the office, which we did. Everyone there made us feel so very welcome. A mooring over night till midday the next day is free, then after that it is £4 a day. You can hook up to the electric for £3 a day. There is a laundry which is £1 for a warm wash and £2 for a hot wash; they also have a drier for 20p a go, an absolute bargain. There is pump out elsan and rubbish point. Everything you could ask for, they also do short or long term moorings, or moorings for the winter. Moored behind us were the Willow Wren boats Crane and Dipper with 18 young people onboard, who were at Warwick Castle for the day. Having eaten lunch, who should appear and moor alongside us but NB Seeburg. We took a walk into Warwick and had a nose around. There are some lovely Antique shops in the town and other places of interest. We were not sure if we would visit the castle. Anyway tomorrow we would investigate further; this was a quick look around. We got back to the boat and were met by Merleen, who invited us to their boat NB Lady Celine for a coffee and a catch up chat, which was really wonderful, as the last time we saw them was at Braunston. One of their Shelties has been very, very poorly, but hopefully now after an operation is on the mend at long last. We have said we would go out for a meal with them on Thursday. We were just on our way back to the boat when we were met by Les off of NB Valerie, he was out for a walk and saw Hadar, so knew we were about, we stood and caught up on the news with him. It has been a day of catching up with boating friends. During the evening we enjoyed watching the 18 young people off of NB Crane and Dipper playing rounders, they were using a stick and a conker, so I found them a ball to play to use out of my carrier bags full of balls of all shapes and sizes. It was so enjoyable to watch a group of young people having so much fun and laughter. In this day and age we hear so many bad things about the youth of today, and here were this group of young people playing and enjoying each others company and the company of their teachers. The day drew to a close at 9.45 pm with the youngsters going in and the evening getting chilly.
It has been a fantastic day. We plan on staying in the arm for a few days.

Wednesday 16th July.

Today was a day of culture and history. We did all the usual morning chores and said good morning to Margaret and Colin next door to us. Keith and I then walked into Warwick early as I wanted to find a hairdresser, who would do a dry trim and not charge the earth. I found such a hairdressers who trimmed an inch off my hair and only charged me £10, which was not bad at all. Although £10 for two minutes work seems a little over the top, but it had been 12 weeks since my last trim, so needs must I suppose.
We then did the museum in the square and St. Johns House Museum, both of them free to enter and very informative, especially St. Johns where we learned the history of the Warwickshire Regiment. By this time it was lunch time and our feet needed a rest, so we found a Thai restaurant which was doing a 2 course meal for £6.50 each from a set menu, which would do for us. It was a really good meal and service. By this time it was 12.45 pm and we were going to visit the castle, Merleen gave us a voucher for one of us to get in free, we made our way to Warwick Castle where we had the most fantastic afternoon. The castle itself was bustling with school and college parties, so it was a little crowded, but we climbed over 500 steps to the ramparts and towers, to see spectacular views across the country, we sat and watched the falconry display by Hawk Experience which was really amazing, we then enjoyed a walk around the grounds. Inside the castle the exhibitions in each of the rooms was truly amazing, with wax work figures dressed in period costume. The even had sound affects for each of the rooms and people on hand to answer any questions. Of all the castles we have been to this was by far the best and I for one recommend you visit it. Having done all that walking and climbing we left the castle to find a street cafĂ© for a well earned coffee, before making our way back to Hadar. The rest of the day was spent relaxing on the boat, neither of us had any energy for much else ha ha ha.

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