I'm not sure why but this stretch of the Grand Union always seems to feel like a section that you have to 'get through' and it is not until the Tring Summit that you feel that you are into the 'country'.
We saw a boat just going up the first lock and after Helen spoke to them they said they would wait at the next one for us. They were a Charity boat that had a load of kids and adults on and everything was very slow. As I arrived at the next lock to join them the engine stopped as I entered the lock. As they were penning us up I mhad the weed hatch open and saw a tyre round the prop. With a little juggling I managed to drop it off and had a rope round it so we didn't lose it into the cut again. We very quickly caught up with the Charity boat at the next lock.
There are some lovely lock keepers cottages along the way and some of them need 'doing up' but this one looks to be a lovely spot at Apsley Bottom Lock (I think).
At Apslet Top Lock the Charity boat was coming into the lock behind us. They were a little slow but it is always good to have plenty of hands to open and close gates.
The moorings at the foot of Winkwell Bottom Lock has the feeling of a working dock, that was reinforced by a sign saying no engines or generators to be run! The West Coast Main Line is pretty close and unlike at St Pancras they are going at quite a speed when they pass here.
The drinkers at The Three Horseshoes were denied a 'lock in' today as it was third time lucky for us as the bridge worked perfectly this time. The last twice it has jammed and we have had to call out C&RT to sort it.
We parted company with the Charity boat at the foot of Winkwell Locks. We were going to moor up soon after but as the weather was so good and we had had lots of help with the locks so far we continued on to Berko.
We decided to moor above Ravens Lock as there was a space and the sun was still out. Once secure we walked back to the Rising Sun to slake our thirst. After a pint we got back to the boat, changed and headed into town. Hedon had some stuff to take back to 'Fat Face' and I wanted to head to the DIY shop. I left Helen at Fat Face and Laura Ashley as I walked to the opposite end of the High Street the tool store. I passed a new restaurant and lo and behold it was a well known brand!
The VAH DIY store at 339 High Street has just about everything you could ask for. This is just one of the three isles downstairs and there is an upstairs too. However they didn't have what I needed but they did give me some good advice about getting my fuel filter off.
This is the Berkhampsted Town Hall that shares the building with Carluccios downstairs and their office upstairs.
We were close to the Crown on the High Street and as it was steak night we were tempted along for a sirloin and a couple of pints before heading back again to the boat. It has been a lovely day and we have done 16 big locks today. Helen deserved a drink at the end of it.