Thursday, at The Crossroads in an even nicer room (especially as we weren’t paying for it). We walked to the marina to be greeted with more free vouchers for brunch at Whilton Marina Cafe. Free food in hand, we sat watching a horde of people working on Mirrless. It was gratifying to see. People were walking in and out of the stern, along the gunnels, some with tools, others with papers in hand. We walked back to our hotel which made this day’s tally a 6 mile round trip. Once again, the scenery and more importantly, the weather were gorgeous.
We actually ate the the Heart of England in the evening as it was ‘Two for One’ and we had a hot hot curry.. As previously mentioned frugal had become our byword.
Monday, the engine was going in after the stern gland assembly, of course. But of course, you all knew that. We had the chance of a lift from my brother-in-law to Northamptonshire, rather than incurring the expense (and hassle) of a hire car. He was travelling ‘up North’ and a short detour to Whilton Marina was doable.
We travelled, at speed; A303, A34, A5. What you have to realise is that for years now, the vehicles we have owned either couldn’t or weren’t allowed to go above 50mph – Land Rover Defender CSW (50mph if it could make it), Land Rover Defender HT (50mph, Commercial vehicle limit), VW Transporter (50mph, Commercial vehicle limit). The run up to Whilton for us was like being in The Gumball Rally! It took about half the time it took us previously 🙂 I must add, no rules were broken in the writing of this blog post.
At The Marina
Brilliant sunshine, went through the narrowboat detail, paid for it (ouch), saw the boat; the stern gland assembly was in and looking shiny & new, we were told in detail, how the engine bay had been modified to update it to take shiny reconditioned one. However, the engine in all its glory was by the side of the boat. It wasn’t in yet. “Going in next!” shouted an engineer. Basically it will have all new running gear from start to finish. We got a lift to the hotel we had booked; the Heart of England.
We sat out in the garden, drinks in hand (Marstons Pedigree – it was a Marstons pub), relaxing but little knowing the canal was but inches away from us, down a bank, behind the garden. We found that out the next morning.