Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Canal Boat Tour

Last Friday Julie and I joined two other couples for our first Canal Boat tour in England.  We drove 3 hours north of London to Stratford where we boarded our 62 ft. x 6 ft Narrow boat, for 3 nights.  There was a short helpful orientation on boat operation and using the locks.  The boat was powered by a 4 cylinder diesel engine and was quite easy to operate.  British friend Geoff had experience on these canal boats so we loaded 3 days supplies and were off. Our boat had two staterooms, two baths,  and a dinette that made a double bed.  This was a working holiday as we went through 30 locks and over 3 aqueducts in 3 days.  We had a captain on the helm and two mates always opening and closing the locks.  The women did a fine job of keeping the food and drinks coming.  We followed the canal from Stratford to Kingswood stopping each night and to top up our water supply.  We did actually end up in a few pubs if you can believe that.  This is a very slow moving holiday but a fantastic way to see the lovely English countryside.  There are thousands of miles of canals that are 7 feet wide with locks that can only handle boats of under 80 ft.  We booked with the Excellence Afloat tour group, which costs around 7 to 800 pounds for 3 nights, or 11 to 1300 pounds for a week.  These prices are for a bigger boat that would sleep 6 to 7 people.  The canals were built between 1700 to 1835 for trade and commerce but were retired for leisure use after the rail system arrived.  This was fantastic Christmas gift to us from our wonderful British friends.  Lower photo, "The Motley Crew" Rob, Me, Julie, Debby, Geoff, and Jane.   I will post a photo album on Facebook.

1 comment:

Michelle Anne Rufino said...

This boat is complete will all the essential rooms. Nice! I am sure the trip was relaxing and a very good experience for everyone. I want to try this boat too. I hope they have one like this in oban wildlife trips. I will definitely enjoy it.