So the first half of my first year of travelling away from the Kennet and Avon Canal is over and my plan is...
to travel back again!
After delightful weeks of moving through new water, discovering narrow locks - surely this boat won’t fit in that slot, phew, just! and bashing from side to side if it isn’t inch perfect. Being on the Thames for four days and slowly going against the flow, but seeing Great Crested Grebes, my favourite and yet unseen, childhood bird. Passing through waterways' network renowned villages Thrupp and Braunston and turning a corner after previously arriving right in the centre of Banbury, which has a modern shopping centre spilling onto the lock.
And the names of the canals: the Oxford, the Coventry, the Birmingham and Fazeley, the Trent and Mersey, Staffs and Worcs, the Shroppie and, of course the Llangollen. All with distinct character, interest and challenge.
And the boats, historic, novel, quirky and mainly narrow!
Please note, we had a hot spell again this summer and the country had water problems. Some canals had to be closed and some (Oxford) are still introducing water saving measures, but we (the majority of Canal Ministries' boats) were on Mission in Ellesmere and cosseted with a flow of 12 million gallons of water per day flowing through the Llangollen Canal!
I rest my case for the existence of a loving, caring God.
It took me two months to get to the Mission, including some very long days and my personal best of 45 lock/miles in one day. (Naturally, when setting records, it is important to be specific and I can honestly say that all the locks were set against me). And was the sweat and physical endeavour worth it? Well it was worth it for one prayer with Debbie and Dave at the Mission, the rest was pure cream and a very worthwhile way of spending my days.
Do you remember times when your favourite relationship deepened and there was always time (though never enough)? My mission to Ellesmere was quite like that, with the journey time spent chatting with God and covering the bases and everything inbetween. Next year, Northampton. I am travelling already!
In His Name
NB Dawn Run
Canal Ministries - sharing God's Love on the Inland Waterways.