Our friends don't chose to travel as far in a day as we often do, so we agreed that as they needed to stop in Leighton Buzzard we would work with them until there, but then carry on alone.
|"Sickle" leads "Fiddlers Green" away from Grove Church lock.|
|Waiting for Grove lock to fill|
At Grove lock we said our farewells to out travelling companions, and set off ahead. It is unusual for us not to make a shopping stop at Leighton, where there is a remarkably convenient store, but today we had no need. As we passed Wyvern Shipping, (boats 4 abreast today!), there were clearly new hirers taking over, but none, it seemed yet set off - always a bonus!
|Steve and I - probably about 10 yeras since we last met!|
The anticipated "man with a bucket" didn't actually approach until they had insisted on working the locks, so there feels to be pressure to donate, (or at least that is how we see it). However, although I engaged him politely throughout, the collector initially seemed dumbstruck when I told him why there would be no fiver from me. So I talked to him further, and he asked my "what in particular don't you like?". I was then able to tell him in some detail. It would be nice if he fed this up his organisation - though I rather doubt he will.
No doubt some will see me as a cheapskate, but I have strong principals
about how all boaters should be treated, and I do believe that the IWA
currently unfairly writes of many people who have boats. So after reflecting on it, I'm still comfortable I didn't cave in to pressure, and just pay up.
|Descending "Three Locks"|
After that an easy passage saw us back to our home mooring, although the amount of clearing, cleaning and car loading we found it necessary to do still surprised us. If we are going to keep switching boats, we really do need to start to get more organised about moving stuff between each of them, or between either and home!
Overall though, a very enjoyable trip to and from "Ricky" and also a very enjoyable festival itself. It had been a difficult decision whether we just went and enjoyed some boating, or try and progress work on "Flamingo". I'm rather glad we decided to "play" rather than to work!
Ivinghoe to Fenny Stratford
Miles: 13.2, Locks: 12
Total Miles: 73.2, Locks: 122