Thursday, 11 August 2016

A Bit of Boating

Welcome to Rugby: Change here for Braunston
Having had to turn down a number of offers of boating last year, this year I have naturally received none at all!  But finally an offer arrived from friends to join them for a few days on "Sunshine", their 1976-built Minden boat with a beautiful Lister SR2 engine.

The journey to Braunston went well, but did show up a number of reasons why first-time, or infrequent users of public transport find things so difficult.  Despite the bus to Braunston being advertised as going from "Rugby station" it doesn't actually stop outside the station entrance (although it easily could) but from a bus stop on a nearby road that happens to be more convenient (for the bus, that is!).  I was expecting to catch a service 12 Daventry-bound bus and all the information on the bus stop confirmed that I was right. So imagine my surprise when the first bus that turned up was a service 13 going to Braunston!  I assumed, wrongly as it turned out, that my journey planner hadn't picked it up as an option because it followed a roundabout route (buses do that, you know) and that service 12 would get my their earlier.  Wrong on both counts; service 13 is more direct and faster and would have dropped me much nearer the canal in Braunston than the 12, which stops at the top of the village, near the Wheatsheaf. 

Then, when the 12 arrived, the destination shown was not the expected "Daventry"  but "Monkmoor", which turns out to be a suburb of Daventry, but could have been on the moon for all I knew. The driver assuredme I was on the right bus, although I couldn't help noticing that all the bus stops along the route referred only to service 10!

I didn't mind being dropped at the top of the village, as I like Braunston and I enjoyed the walk down to the canal to join "Sunshine" on the visitor moorings opposite the Boat House pub.  After a cup of tea we untied and set off towards Wigrams Turn on what was a hot and sunny afternoon. Our destination for day was the bottom of Napton Locks, but a change of plan led to us tying up at Bridge 111, where regular boaters will know that the Bridge Inn has closed down, although the King's Head on the main road at the bottom of Napton village isn't too far away.

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