Dinosaur and chips!
After a quiet night at Apsley, we got up and got ready to start out on the next leg of our journey. After making a quick trip to the local Sainsbury store, we untied and got into the lock which was just a few feet away from our overnight mooring. The landscape was predominantly rural as we dropped down through Kings Langley, Sue was stunned to see a young woman carry her baby and its pushchair over the lock gate, particularly since she was wearing flip-flops! The top gate was almost impossible to open but we got through in the end. There was another lock like this later and with another blocked by BW floating skips, we were starting to get fed up with it all.
As usual we have seen a lot of wildlife, plenty of Moorhens and ducks, Canada geese, domestic geese and swans. We’ve been privileged to see herons and even a few kingfishers. We’ve seen fish jumping, sometimes right out of the water but nothing could have prepared us for this sight near Abbotts Langley.
Nevertheless we persevered and eventually stopped for lunch at Hunton Bridge next to the A41 which runs between Hemel Hempstead and Watford. We indulged ourselves with the chicken kievs that we had bought at Eastwoods and some home made, or should that be boat made chips.
After lunch we got going again and enjoyed some beautiful scenery which eventually took us down through Watford’s Cassiobury park. We saw the first signs of London in the form of a tube train which was travelling overhead, hmmm strange place to have an underground train!
We took on water and emptied the toilet just below Batchworth lock where we saw a miniature canal sytem complete with two locks and a tunnel. Sadly there was no water except below the lock, no doubt the result of a drought and leaky gates, just like the real thing. We thought that we had picked up something on the prop and handily enough there was space on the visitor moorings so we stopped to check. There was nothing on the prop but with a darkening sky, we decided to stay a while. The rain came and although it didn’t last long we decided that this was as good a mooring as any to stay the night on since it was already five o’clock.
At six o’clock we were ready to venture out again so we took a walk to the centre of Rickmansworth. Wandering along the main street we became aware of the faint smell of chips. The smell became stronger as we walked along and soon enough we reached the source where of course we had to sample some of their wares. The enthusiastic proprietor informed us that the chips were cooked in rapeseed oil so we felt that we had somehow chosen a healthy option as we sat on a nearby bench and stuffed our faces. Afterwards we paid a visit to the local M&S food shop before retiring to the local Weatherspoons for a couple of beverages. After that it was back to the boat where we sat and relaxed for the rest of the evening.