|Going down the Stockton locks|
|Heading off the narrow and onto the wide|
We've swapped narrow locks for wide ones, a diet of just narrowboats for a medley of narrow and wide beams, Dutch barges and assorted miscellaneous craft, and a narrow, shallow waterway for a wide, deep one.
|The wide canal brought a wider variety of boats too|
And here we discovered what the trouble was. A sizeable queue of boats had formed to go up the flight – they'd been waiting for two hours because a pound had leaked dry and had to be refilled by C&RT workers. And they had only just got moving.
That was a bonus for us – we just minced from lock to lock as boats coming up from the lock below automatically left it ready for us to go into and head downwards.
|You go your way and I'll go mine in Bascote staircase|
Three more locks brought our total for the day to twenty and we moored up. Our guests looked a bit shell-shocked but revived quickly after substantial portions of Harrywoman's steak pie.
|Partly restored wooden narrowboat now looking for a home|
Somewhere in Leamington is a very handsome town, allegedly, but it's not what you see from the canal. Here you're on a disheveled backwater running through a desperately run-down quarter of town.
We moved out to the edge and and found ourselves a perfect little overnight stop – right outside the local Lidl! Our guests arrived back for one last monster meal – a curry – and another bottle or two before settling in for their last night on board.
We waved them off this morning and meandered towards Warwick, via the pair of Cape Locks where finally we began to ascend once more. We are moored tonight in the secretive and delightful Saltisford Arm on the edge of Warwick, enjoying its charms and preparing for some serious climbing – the 21 lock Hatton Flight.