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Archive for August 11th, 2016

Boat Blog: The Odyssey 2016 – Day 32 & 33 – Lee Navigation

Posted by indigodream on 11 August, 2016

Rewind to Sunday 19th June

Limehouse Basin to  Waltham Abbey

An evolving landscape....

An evolving landscape….

Our Medway Convoy stayed together overnight, but by the time we emerged at 10am-ish, most had already vanished back to their various London moorings. I think we might have registered a boat moving at silly o’clock but we weren’t tempted to join them!

However, we had to move on eventually – the wall at Limehouse is £25 a night after the first 24 hours so we needed to get away. We haven’t explored the Lee Navigation since 2010, so we thought we’d take a look. We had this ambition to get right up to Bishop’s Stortford and Hertford, but sadly it was not to be.

We set off along Limehouse Cut, which is now populated by a legion of residential boats. This set the tone for the entire trip, which was painfully slow with almost every inch of accessible towpath occupied for the first 3½ hours. Never mind, we had intended to get as far as Cheshunt, so the shortage of moorings nearer to London didn’t affect us ths time.

Busy busy....

Busy busy….

Despite the slow going, I was reminded of how interesting the Lee is – it passes through contrasting landscapes of new development and old buildings, and old buildings being uplifted to shabby chic. Then there’s the unexpected passage through the country park, which extends for many miles and gives this urban waterway a bucolic feel.

Being hound-free and car-free, we’d usually look to cruising until dusk; but by 4pm we found ourselves looking for a handy mooring. I think that one night’s sleep wasn’t enough to compensate for two very busy days’ cruising. Luckily, there was a very convenient space just above Waltham Town Lock, and although it was a bit of a trek to Waltham Abbey station, we were soon on a train home.

I guess that the canal was always going to be a bit of an anti-climax after the big river, which may explain why we weren’t as enamoured as on previous visits. But then again, we had stopped short of the best bits!

There is a whole new cafe culture growing aroudn the canal in Hackney..

There is a whole new cafe culture growing around the canal in Hackney..

Rewind to Tuesday 28th June

We had planned to spend some evenings and a weekend cruising further up the Lee, but we opted for spending some time at home instead. The weather was uninspiring, we were weary, and by this stage, Ollie was looking increasingly frail – it would do us no harm to have a break. The other factor was that we needed to get back to Limehouse for Wednesday 29th June, so we’d have been pushing it to get to the head of the navigation and back in time.

I couldn’t cruise on the Tuesday afternoon because I run a small choir in the evening; so Richard co-opted one of his staff to help him. By all accounts they had a smooth, but slow and rather damp cruise back to Limehouse.

 

Photoblog:

We didn’t take many photos – I can’t remember why now!

We don't remember seeing this slide before - wonder when it was installed?

We don’t remember seeing this slide before – wonder when it was installed?

Colony at Tottenham Hale...

How many brested up at Tottenham Hale?

The surprisingly green approach to Enfield Lock...

The surprisingly green approach to Enfield Lock…

The lock cottage at Enfield looks lived-in now - so much better than the last time we passed through....

The lock cottage at Enfield looks lived-in now – so much better than the last time we passed through….

 

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