At 8pm on Sunday at Godmanchester litter was piled high by the park bins and spread thickly across the areas favoured by the local teens. But, magic! By 10am on Monday morning all was gone. Just the steel frame of the stage area was left to be dismantled
after Godmanchester’s Gala on Saturday and Picnic in the Park on Sunday. No crowds jostled on the Chinese footbridge now and no boats lined the riverbank of the park – all gone!
“Come on, it’s a working day!” urged the Captain, eager to be off boating in such lovely weather.
Out of Godmanchester on a broad river... After about a mile appear the attractive looking buildings of Brampton Mill, its waterwheel turning.
Coming down the lock was a widebeam boat, Calypso, 60’ long, heading for Pope’s Corner. Impressed her crew were to hear of Cleddau’s and Tentatrice’s respective itineraries. “Abroad! You’ve come from abroad...” their skipper proclaimed. So anywhere beyond the Great Ouse is “abroad” is it! And in a kind gesture Calypso’s mooring platform at Little Paxton was offered if the GOBA moorings were full.
Is it always this busy on sunny Monday mornings – a boat queue at Brampton Lock, before total boat congestion at Offord Lock. Onwards upstream, past the holiday lodges at Buckden Marina. Short of space at the lock landing stage Cleddau's bow spent time in a willow tree
Heading south, heading upstream. Slowly now, look out for boats on the right. If you walk the Ouse Valley Way you pass these boats, private moorings beside Paxton Pits Nature Reserve. Squint to spot the blue GOBA sign
Tuesday saw the Little Paxton – Great Barford leg of this marathon cruise. Clouds were reflected in the waters
You meet all sorts on the waterways – folk who are generous, those who are founts of waterways knowledge, folk who are funny – and occasionally folk who are less than pleasant. When you come across someone who in your view is totally obnoxious you hope never to coincide ever again. To share waters and lock side territory again today with the all-time Mr Obnoxious first encountered about three years ago was disconcerting. Why do some people behave in such an intimidating and water possessive way?
Away from Paper Mills Lock the river passes glorious properties - and a mass of white bottomed boats.
Through Eaton Socon Lock (a pretty spot and a cheerful fellow boater) then onwards, further upstream. The A1 runs parallel here, and, A1 fans, Cleddau paralleled the Black Cat roundabout at 1445...
Then came the familiar sight of Great Barford’s weir; rowers avoided,
So here, at Great Barford, facing the 17 arched ancient bridge, Cleddau and Tentatrice lie,
To finish with flags and a fish. Why is the Stars and Stripes flying above the Union flag from a St Neots lamp post?
Total distance to Bedford: 310 miles
Distance so far: 302 miles
Total number of locks to Bedford: 141
Locks so far: 137
Tomorrow to Priory Marina, Bedford.