Last night the planes and trains blowing their horns didn’t abate until after midnight and I don’t know what time we woke this morning. I expect tonight will be similar as most of this river seems to be under the flight path and there is a rail crossing in the Nature reserve so all the trains blow their horns as they approach it.
Today started off quite dull and last night’s forecast gave rain for today, but in the end it was another superb day hitting the very high 20s.
Not long after setting off I spotted these what look like concrete blocks spaced out across the field I saw 5 in all but there could have been more. Looking on Google maps there looks to be one each side of the river by the end of lock moorings below Hunsdon Lock and from there they run due east.
As we pulled in at Parndon Lock Moorings Diana spotted these chaps on the opposite bank, there was no sign of any fencing. They were so shiny if they hadn’t been moving you would have thought them to be plastic.
Parndon Mill is now an art gallery with a very impressive house next door. All along the river there are sculptors made from concrete and stone as well as a very ornate bridge just after Parndon Lock.
As you approach the A414 road bridge there is a notice to warn you of canoeists and to sound your horn, I would have thought the sound of a horn would be lost in the traffic noise. Just through the bridge on the right is an outdoor centre and as we rounded the bend to come up to the lock there were canoes all over the place. The instructor rapidly Shepherded them all up but took them to the lock landing right where I wanted to be, but she soon had them over side.
As we arrived the Accessibility wide beam boat was entering the lock from above taking a party to buy ice creams at Roydon Lock. This lock has an interesting feature that the paddles are manual and the bottom gates hydraulic, they are also just under the road bridge and I would think it possible to catch the tiller under the bridge if you hold back to hard while coming up in the lock, especially on a Narrowboat.
As we entered Harlow Mill Lock there was a wide beam above waiting to come down, its a good job we were on a Narrowboat or there wouldn’t have been room for us to get out of the top gates. He couldn’t pull back because behind him are visitor moorings which were all full.
Lots of the locks have a plaque on them but in most cases its set in the lock wall just above the top gates so when you open the lock you can’t read it. This one was set into the walkway along side the lock.
The top end ground paddles on some of these locks are quite violent with the outlet being just above the surface of an empty lock so they shoot a large jet of water across the lock.
We passed Hallingbury Mill that is down the end of the Mill Stream. and quite a complex. I have been told they do a first class Fish and Chips, but we were to do another lock before stopping. Also as we got further up the bridges seemed to get lower with me having to not only remove the flag mast but also the weather station for this one. We were to moor for the night at the next bridge, number 44. When I say at we are actually tied to the downstream railing by or bow and the stern is on a pin in the bank. The other side of the river is a nature reserve and this side Wallbury Camp, it would be an idyllic spot if there wasn’t a plane going overhead every 2 minutes 20 seconds to land at Stansted Airport. I normally wave to trains and lorries on the motorway, this afternoon I was waving to aircraft captains.
8½ miles, 8 Locks in 4¾ hours