I have always loved writing, and now that I am retired I thought I would be able to find time to write, but it seems that I still manage to fill my days with activities. I have however found that while I travel, I enjoy writing about some of the interesting things we do. I hope you enjoy reading of our adventures as much as I like writing about them.
Wednesday, September 9, 2015
Dawn on the Canal
We are off on our latest travel
adventure. This time we are going to England to rent a Narrowboat for
a two week trip through the canals of the Midlands of England. I am
writing this prior to going, and will post it just before we leave.
It is not our first trip on a Narrowboat, but I think a lot of you
are not familiar with this form of travel.
The Narrowboat is a unique type of
craft, designed for the vast canal network crisscrossing most of
England. Once a major system used to transport goods around the
country, the canals were often abandoned once trains and trucks
became a more convenient means of transportation, but some of the old
Narrowboats used on the canals were converted to houseboats and used for recreation, and with the encouragement from a popular book, Narrow
Boat by L.T.C Rolt written in 1939, the canals and the hundreds
of locks along the way were restored and are now well maintained as a
popular recreation facility for many people.
The actual Narrowboats, are a pretty
standard design, once wooden hulled but now steel, they are 7 feet
wide (Well, actually 7 feet narrow), and up to 70 feet long. Where
they once had a tiny cabin at the rear for the captain and crew, and
a large open hold for coal, local pottery, or other goods being
transported, the modern Narrowboat is a well equipped floating
British RV. They contain a full galley with fridge, stove, coffee
maker, and even a microwave, bedrooms with comfortable beds, bathrooms
with full showers and hot water. As well they have full electrics,
heat, and now even WiFi.
Unlike a riverboat vacation where you
are transported through Europe in luxury with a captain, program
director, and a full crew to look after your every need, on a
narrowboat, you are given instructions on operation and sent on your
way. You pilot the boat, you cook you meals, and you clean the boat.
Working the Locks - Everyone lends a Hand
Now it is a casual style of travel. We
have a trip of 180 km and we have 14 days to do it, so the speedy 4
km speed limit is not a problem, but we do have almost 100 locks to
go through and we have to do everything on our own (perhaps more on
that later . .). Hopefully the WiFi on the boat will allow me to
write my blog as we progress, so look for information on some of the
interesting places we visit and how things work along the way.