Now let me share a much happier experience. I have just had a most fantastic chinese takeaway from the Grace Chinese takeaway (and eat in) which is run independently of, but within, the Wheatsheaf pub. I had a good pint while waiting too.
There’s no sign outside, and orders are placed at a sort of sideboard in a side room of the pub. But it was doing a roaring trade and my food was absolutely excellent quality. I had the meal for one – how sad, but it came with fortune cookie (the first I ever had with a takeway) with the message “Your wisdom will find a way” . However I am still no wiser as to what this might mean.
They dont have a website, so here’s their phone number and address. I highly recommend them.
Grace Chinese Takeway
10 The Green
Open: Daily at 5pm. Closing at 10:30pm on Sundays, midnight on Saturday and 11pm every other day.
Braunston Tunnel should be opening today and Zulu was supposed to be on the move tomorrow but I just heard that yet another stoppage has been extended, this time Buckby Locks, which will not now be open until mid-day on Monday, so although we can get through Braunston Tunnel as of today (can anyone confirm that it did actually reopen today as scheduled) then the furthest I can get this weekend is the other end of Braunston Tunnel so its simply not worth moving from Braunston. I imagine a lot of boats will be trying to get through and they will all end up at Norton Junction 4 miles from Braunston, where mooring will not be easy.
I had hoped to reach Stoke Bruerne by Saturday and then Milton Keynes area by Sunday so I can leave Zulu for one last stopover before we get a home run to Uxbridge.
So today I will have to do with a virtual tour of Stoke Bruerne, thanks to Google StreetView which has just been extended to cover virtually everywhere in the country – even rural lanes can now be viewed – and there’s bound to be some other excellent canal scenes. Here’s the one I just found showing Stoke Bruerne!
The world has become even smaller as a result of this amazing technology.
There’s still no bus service from Braunston on a Sunday so I had to wait until Monday morning before heading home. It didn’t help a lot when I woke after 7am, as I was intending to get the 07:34 bus to Rugby and then train home. But at what price?
(Another train fare rant coming on….)
Rugby to Newbury single, via London £73.50!! or not via London (ie through Banbury) £43.50.
BUT split the ticket into two singles,
Rugby to Banbury : £18.50 peak, £13.60 off peak after 10.00
Banbury to Newbury: £14.90 all day.
Total £33.40 or £28.50 peak or off peak. A saving of at least £10.10 or £15.00 after 10:00, once again to travel in the same seat on the same train.
Instead I took the 07:42 to Banbury which arrived late at Daventry and missed the connection, turning a 90 minute trip into 150 minutes. From Daventry the bus was quite fun as it was empty to start with, but weaving in and out of the villages on the way more and more people got on, all of whom seemed to know at least half of the other passengers. Definitely a local bus in every sense. The total fare was less than a fiver, and I already had an unused train ticket home from Banbury, so that was an even better saving. But due to connections, it took almost 6 hours door to door whereas by car its an hour and a bit.
I did enjoy the journey today, but if I was doing this regularly I would expect public transport to be better than this otherwise I would definitely take the car.
Another cold start to the day. This time minus 9.5 and enough to freeze the canal yet again. I certainly broke some miles of ice today!
Not much to say about the journey though, as it all went like clockwork. I started very early and arrived at Long Itchington about 9am, just in time to see a mass exodus of boats, all heading the other way, until we caught up with two boats going up the Stockton locks ahead of us.
At Calcutt the canal became so busy I had to think twice about whether this was March or mid Summer but under a deep blue sky and temperature barely into the plusses, Braunston was in sight by 4pm.
I spent the rest of the afternoon fixing things which had gone wrong yesterday.
I think I have a fair excuse for being tired tonight, after clocking up another 13 miles and 20 locks. But another milestone in the journey, and here at Braunston 4 days before the canal reopens at the tunnel.