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Norton Junction to Stoke Bruerne 13 miles and 7 locks

We left Norton Junction early on Wednesday morning, drifting onto the water point above the locks to perform the ritual of ablutions....

Our aim for Wednesday was to get to Blisworth, a few miles and around 5 hours cruising away (not including the locks at Buckby), and moor to enable Thursday to be completely free.  I don't get much opportunity to paint when we begin moving between festivals and locations and I know I am up against it, getting commissions completed and stock replenished in time!

Bottom lock before the storm clouds gathered again and time for breakfast in Whilton Cafe.  This is a ceremonial observance for us every time we pass the flight!

Fully fuelled, we set off again, but the weather was getting colder and more threatening

Not a great deal of alteration to the container boat from last year.  Perhaps the changes are all internal

The scary manikin with his dog still makes me jump when we pass under this bridge!

Beautiful barge we have not seen before along this stretch

Lovely countryside

The other side of Weedon village, we past these lazy animals

Camping North face of the Eiger today!  It was bitter!

We pass through Gayton Junction with only a mile or so to Blisworth.  The hail  had come down for a good proportin of the previous stretch, so we were looking forward to mooring and getting warm again.

View down towards Northampton.  This takes you down 17 single locks and onto the River Nene.
We overnighted on the bend outside Blisworth village and had a day of painting and odd jobs, before passing through Blisworth tunnel (nearly 2 miles long!) on the Friday morning.

Because our gift shop opens on the starboard side, we went down 2 locks to turn and return to Stoke Bruerne visitor moorings and find a space to trade for the weekend.
Eventually, a space became free, so we retraced our steps once we had winded (turned the boats) and moored up.
We will be here in Stoke Bruerne for this Bank Holiday weekend returning for the next before embarking on our journey towards London....

Foxton Locks and on to Norton Junction 22 miles & 7 locks

After a somewhat disappointing Easter event at Foxton Locks and subsequent very quiet weekend (footfall wise), we are beginning our journey to Rickmansworth for their annual extravaganza!

Aerial picture of us moored at the top of Foxton Locks (picture courtesy of P Hancock)

So we set off, after a hasty trip into town on the bus for me, to fetch prescription and supplies.

No sooner had we cleared the Foxton boundary, the engine shut down completely and we drifted casually into the bank.  Richard could find  nothing wrong at all; engine: seemed fine, prop: all clear... 
His face was one of our pre Christmas engine rebuild saga ~ white with concern.
We carried on..

And, touch wood... the engine is happy again.  Must just have gone over something undesirable and the prop decided it couldn't chop it up!

Into the first tunnel (Husband's Bosworth)

North Kilworth Wharf

A quick video at Welford Junction.  A bit blurry at the beginning but all becomes clear!

Cute tiny narrowboat

Approaching the road bridge under the A14

Overnight mooring in Crick and a trip to the shop for a pudding...

Second tunnel, first thing, at Crick and then we arrived at Watford Locks (7).  We would like to thank the volunteer lock keepers for doing a first class job getting boats up and down the flight without incident.  That includes a boat and butty!

Getting close to Norton Junction as we pass the last marina

Norton Junction and a left turn ahead

The clouds begin to look a little more threatening as we spot our mooring for this evening (on the left, after the workboat) above the locks at Norton Junction.
Tomorrow, we  will do the ablutions and set off down the locks heading for Stoke Bruerne for the weekend..

Friars' Mill Moorings (Leicester) to Foxton Locks (28 miles, 28 locks)

The new floating pontoon moorings at Friars' Mill in Leicester City were lovely and surprisingly quiet, compared to other inner city moorings.  Security was relative to the private courtyard aspect of the site, although no lock was on the inner gates but a CRT padlock on the main gate (not locked overnight on this occasion)

We rose early to get to  Aldi at Aylestone for opening time, trying hard to tiptoe past our fellow moorers....sorry if we woke you!

A short 360 of Lock 41 at the football grounds

Love this secret backwater

Shopping done, we carry on towards Glen Parva

South Wigston

Kilby Bridge

Short video of the boats coming into a lock

Lovely scenery as we get higher

Newton Harcourt locks

So peaceful

After a well earned Aldi pizza and good sleep at Fleckney, the boats were readied for the last stint of this journey

Picking up the butty

Saddington Tunnel 881 yards long ~ time to test the tunnel light!

We have arrived at Foxton Locks!

Rather than going up the flight, we turned left to Market Harborough (5 and a half miles and no locks).  We had errands to do in town and it is nice to walk from the moorings instead of getting buses everywhere!

I had spent the entire morning cleaning the butty back cabin and putting up the curtains and lace which normally adorn it in the summer season.

Wow! Plenty of space for us for a change!  No sooner had we got moored and turned the engine off, than our friends Sheila and Jim came around the corner from their overnight mooring on the edge of the basin.  It was great to catch up with fellow traders (NB Islonian Flavours Afloat Coffee Emporium), but we still had to go into town and we hadn't eaten yet!  Weatherspoons it was then!

First thing in the morning, Richard walked back into town and caught the train to collect the car from Barrow.  He then had to drive back to Foxton and catch the bus from there to the boat.  
Once he had recovered from his travels, we moved off from the Market Harborough moorings, and worked our way slowly back to Foxton.
Yesterday morning we set off up the flight with the help of the wonderful volunteer lockies and Jim (moored above the locks) and got into our favourite mooring space for the weekend!
Come and see us if you are in the local area, as we will be here for the weekend with the shop open (weather permitting as usual!)