We have covered a short distance by boat over the last few days, partly because we are not in a hurry and partly to avoid showers and partly because this is a lock heavy area. There are plenty of swing bridges too. We have had a few walks and had a delicious lunch out at Avoncliff, in The Crossed Guns. We chose completely different dishes that both had smoked mackerel as their main constituent. They were a feast for the senses and so was the location with a view down to the aqueduct over the river.
While driving the next day. Shane enjoyed a spectacular dive from the air by a heron. I missed the dive but saw it fly off with a big fish (unsmoked) in its mouth before landing high in a nearby tree for an undisturbed lunch. It had a great view too.
We took a day off driving to go for a cycle ride and explore Lacock. We asked a local who told us it is pronounced Lay-cock, which wasn’t how we had been saying it. It had been billed as where Harry Potter’s parents lived. It also had an abbey which had been used for many dramas. For a small village it was busy and there was a bit of a queue at the baker’s at lunch time but it was too nice a smell not to join it.
With the village’s popularity there were lots of capacity for shops and even those not running a shop, were managing to have enterprises. I have never seen so many honesty boxes and different products available. There were plants and flowers,; Harry Potter trinkets; preserves, meringues and fudge; home baking and dog treats; lavender bags; cheap courgettes; painted horseshoes and other crafts. I made quite a haul, but didn’t buy from them all. Mostly I bought from the most extended range, arrayed along a wall. As well as an honesty box for cash. They had a qr code and email for PayPal payments.
Besides the abbey, which was keen for visitors, there were quite a few interesting buildings, that were not charging and had to try to protect themselves from the visitors. One was built-in 1390 and asked people not to knock the ancient timbers. The residents of Harry Potter’s parents’ house had to point out they were a private house and not to wander in. We found one road went through a stream but the pedestrians got a good solid bridge to go over. We liked that and the cars going there can’t be frequent as children were paddling in the ford and none came while we were there and chatting to their mum who was planning to sit there and crochet, while they played.
We had excellent weather for our cycle ride. Having done very little cycling the distance was quite acceptable. On the way there, I got a brief chance off the saddle when we found an unsuitable path, but for me it was quite fortuitous as I snacked on brambles. On the way back I stepped off to get the unusual post box topper of a crocheted treasure chest. Who knows, it might even have been made by the lady we met.
We visited other villages too but were disappointed the open sign outside the cafe in Seend was just permanently outside and they were shut. Never mind we did find a place to slake our thirst at a canal side pub, The Barge Inn.
I have taken the opportunity with the slower pace to keep up with my crafts too. I have had socks requested but quickly decided a sock (for a larger foot than mine) takes longer than a hat. I have done one and started the next, but was diverted by the news of a new early baby so made a couple of baby hats. I knitted one yesterday and another one today even though we spent several hours going through the Caen flight.
Last time we did the Caen flight, I drove most of them and Shane locked and chatted to the volunteers but this time we were with another boat so he chatted to the driver and I worked 23 locks. I did get plenty help from volunteers and the other crew though. We went pretty quickly with locks ahead being prepared and only had one wait at the side when we met another two boats coming the other way. The wait gave me a chance to grab a coffee and crumpet, before grabbing the rope to keep us at the side during the switch over. The volunteer lock keepers asked us to wait at the side and one would go in our space then the boat we were with went into the next lock and the other boat took its place then we went in. It all worked pretty smonthly.
We had time to go into Devizes. Most shops were shut due to the Bank holiday, but we had success at two supermarkets. One even had large boxes of mixed fruit at a bargain price and we both tucked into some on the way back. All that locking is hungry work.