Just 4 Sydney-side Hartnells

Just 4 Sydney-side Hartnells

Friday, October 26, 2012

Part 4 for England: Paddocks & Scenery

One of the most amazing parts about our trip was the scenery. Mornings tended to be foggy or rainy, and it cleared as the morning passed. This shot was by Cam and captured the bird mid-flight. Stunning.

 I thing this shot was one of my favorite. The windmill, the clouds, the sheep, absolutely picture perfect. We looked at this scene for an hour or so.

The weather was mysterious some mornings. We often parked alone sleeping next to a empty paddock, but occasionally we were in the company of others. Another morning, another foggy start.

The dew kissed cob-webs sparkled even in the haze. This lock was a prime example. 

Thatched roofs abounded even in the smallest of towns. Check out this duplex with a bird on one side and a fox slyly creeping up to it from behind.

Another canal tidbit were these swing bridges that linked one paddock to another. They may be tiny, but they can handle a tractor. 

England again...

 The canal was full of interesting bits in between the extensive green paddocks. For example, we went through a wicked cool tunnel. Over 300 feet long and had a crazy echo potential. I didn't let loose completely to save everyone's ears. People at the front of the boat had the light, but I was driving in the dark & just heading towards the end.

That was my first day driving & I really thought it should have been my last. See, I broke the boat. Not a minor break, but a large one that shredded bolts and disconnected the chassis from the engine. Notice in this shot how the silver bits are not connected?

We headed to Stratford-Upon-Avon and even went into the house where Shakespeare was born. People have been visiting that house for over 250 years, a pretty amazing thing in itself. Check out me in Shakespeare's recreated garden.

Another canal highlight was the large aqueduct. Cam allowed me to continue driving and he went to take some photos. Luckily the boat can't really go anywhere, even if I stop steering. 

We worked A LOT of locks that first week...150 to be exact. That's quite a few to do, especially when the first one you ever did was just that week. This shot of Tony epitomizes what we saw many, many times.

The boat was really a nice size. Each couple had a bedroom and a bathroom. We shared a common space that had a kitchen, small fridge, and eating area. Here's a view looking from the front of the boat into that kitchen. 

Our bedroom was in the back. The bed had a section you can just see on the left that folded down and allowed you to sleep across the width of the boat. This is looking toward the kitchen at our bedroom. Not huge, but large enough to live. More pictures coming your way soon...

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The English Canals Part 2

So remember in my last post when I said that pubs & canals go hand in hand? Here is case in point: C with a pint. The beer in England is much less carbonated than that of the US or Australia. Cam liked it more, but it wasn't my cup of tea. Speaking of tea, there sure was lots in Britain.

We were able to meet up with other Hartnell's while around including a cousin and her husband. They will be in Sydney for Thanksgiving and will be spending it with Cam's parents.

Here's two typical shots of what was happening on the canals: MaryEd cranking a lock, Cam driving Sarah with Tony navigating and me snapping some pics.

Warwick Castle proved to be better than I expected. Here's a shot of us from the tower, which had a spiral staircase leading up to it. The castle had a very "Disney" feel to it with Halloween coming up and a haunted dungeon tour. We skipped it but did see the "goal" or jail, which gave me the creeps.

The wickedest part of our tour was the Trebuche, a medieval weapon that launched a flaming ball at your enemy. This one had two hamster-wheels that were propelled by people to pull the large counterweight block up in the air. When released, the block falls and the fiery mess is propelled across a field.

England part 1

Hey there cyber world & friends. Cam & I just returned from England and I've got lots of posts to put up. We went with Cam's parents & stopped at Tony's school after we landed. Here's a few shots from that campus, a boarding school with lots of playing fields and historic buildings.


The school included a really cute bridge that connected it to the small neighboring town. Picture a very typical country town outside of London. The wind was brisk, but the scene was exceptionally green.
 We picked up our CANAL boat Sarah and immediately started hitting some locks. In total during the first week, we opened and closed 150 locks! That may not sound like very much to many of you, but trust me when I say my muscles felt each one. Here's a shot with Cam at the helm & Tony winding down a lock gate while MaryEd swings open the other door. It took teamwork, and we had quite the team.

One of the best things about this trip was the pace. Picture walking, but a bit slower. We got to hang with the wildlife including some really big swans. These were some "swanlings" that had not yet turned completely white like their adults.
The serenity of the evenings and sleeping while it rained waking up to fog & cool temps was very relaxing. We generally would eat lunch or dinner at a different pub alongside the canal. You aren't allowed to travel while it is dark, so you are up when the sun is. Cam took this self portrait.

 We did lots of locks, but MaryEd did them all. She was a trooper and this shot captures one of the staircases of locks. These were kind of easy because you can walk between locks. Many times, she would walk ahead and make sure the following lock was ready for the boat. Like I said, we made a great team. Stay tuned for more canal and English countryside shots.