Before setting off we decided to go and look at where the canal is being restored. To start with there was what looked like, a clay track between two hedges! Richard has always had a theory that canals go up and down hill - well I have to agree with him when you see an empty one - I’ve no idea how the water is going to flow! Soon we soon came to where the Trust volunteers were working – they have a mammoth job on their hands. The Trust relies on donations and fund raising and apparently their main event each year is a Boat Festival. Unfortunately they had bad weather for two years and have had to cancel this year’s event as they can’t have the field they have used in the past. They had hoped to get Phase II opened this year but goodness knows when it will be opened now. It was fascinating to see how they are preparing for the water though.
We left the Wendover Arm and set off along Tring Summit. I was a bit disappointed as I had expected it to be open with lovely views but it in fact was cut into the Chilterns and was very wooded. The summit is 400 feet above London and as we began our descent I felt that there was now no turning back - “London here we come”! There are seven locks down into Berkhamstead which we had intended on doing but at the third I had an accident with the windlass (for those non boaters it’s the metal thing that opens the locks!) – somehow it came back at me and bashed my left wrist. Fortunately I didn’t have my watch on or it would have been smashed. I felt quite sick and a lump came up immediately. We did one more lock and then pulled over for the night in Northchurch. The railway runs pretty much parallel with the canal from here on but there is a tunnel in Northchurch so we are train free tonight.