Wednesday, July 23, 2008

It's oh so quiet

This has been my home for the last four days - the narrowboat 'Epiphany'. The wonderful John and Fiona, who live on the canal, gave me my own epiphany - how to lose time and not miss it!

I had to learn how locks worked fairly quickly. This is the Caen Flight - 15 consecutive locks going up a rather long hill.
Just over two hours later we were at the top - what a view!

Even though life didn't rise above 3 miles an hour (with a few stops it took us 7 hours to go 14 miles on Monday) there was a different view at every turn.

Apparently I was somewhere in deepest Wiltshire, where this hidden canal world wends its slow way through long barrow country, past the chalk etched hills with Salisbury Plain just to the south.

We could have been anywhere.

I mostly sat at the bow of the narrow boat, with the engine chugging gently and the only disturbance from the odd heron or having to get off for another lovely meal.

As the shadows lengthened at the end of each day I understood completely why John and Fiona had decided to step off the world and opt for this - peace, perfect peace. Thank you.

John and Fiona have recorded their journey from the building of Epiphany to their life on the canal. You can find them here - Epiphany



Yodood said...

It would seem life on the water is truly a different world. Whether drifting in a canoe down the Colorado River or in the middle of the sea in a sail boat, I always get a strangely detached perspective of the chaos ashore. To think of remaining on water and touring the isles by the ancient canal system is the best idea I've heard yet to see my ancestors' homeland. But I doubt I ever will.

Sharon J said...

My last canal boat holiday was at the end of October last year. It's bloody hard work but at the same time so relaxing - quite unlike anything else I've experienced.

I won't be doing it again - my stamina just won't let me - but I have some lovely memories from the canals here. We were local y'see, yet we got to see our surroundings from a completely different angle.

I must take Lise and her boyfriend for a walk along the canal. He's never seen canal boats before.

Unknown said...

Ah, that looks so lovely, Minx - peaceful, tranquil, thought provoking, healing. Just what anyone needs, I can thoroughly understand the appeal.
What was it Rat and Mole did - just messed about in boats on the river, nothing better.

Unknown said...

'Detached' is the right word, G&G, I felt as if my umbilical to the world had been suspended for a little while. John and Fiona have grabbed a dream - maybe you should as well!

No, I haven't experienced anything like it either, Sharon, it is living history. Being with people who live on the canal took all the hard work out of it - mostly!

I hope you get to do this when you come to England, Vanilli, everyone should be made to do it at least once.

Roberta said...

Now THAT'S a vacation! There is something so peaceful and soothing about being on or near the water. I wonder if we realize, on some ancient - primordial level, that this is home?

Or maybe, just maybe, being so close to the source of all life, we begin to become one with the ebb and the flow?

James Michener would be so very proud of me!

Great photographs, WaterMinx!

Marie said...

It all looks and sounds wonderful.

Unknown said...

We holidayed(that doesn't look right!) on the canals for many years when I was a kid! Beautiful!

Have a look here, only a few miles from us.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

Wow... that is lovely.

I could spend weeks on that.
Glad you had a break, I think you were ready for one!

And, thanks for taking us along with you...

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

Debi said...

I've just written a report on a book on this very subject! Signpost, or what?

Glad you fell in love but didn't fall in, if you get my meaning ...

Unknown said...

Oh my Giddy Aunt - what a beautiful place to be. I expect to see a narrow boat featuring in one of your stories soon!

enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

Unknown said...

I'm proud of you as well, Roberta, nicely put.

It was, Marie, I want one of my own now!

Oh John G, you know exactly what I'm talking about then. Great link, thank you - that 'lift' is amazing.

It was truly the most relaxing thing I have done for years, Scarlett. I am still horizonatal!

Oh Debi, let me know and I'll pass it on to my gorgeous hosts.

Hmm, Babs, you are putting thoughts in my head - a story you say....

Anonymous said...

I think I live in the wrong country...
That is magic.

I perused the Epiphany site, and learned about the canals. I would never have known.
Are there many people that live on the boats year round?

Thank you Minx for the education.

Anonymous said...

I am surprised you didnt get sea sick with yer wooden leg n all. Or become a pirate? yes thats it - canal boat piracy!!

Unknown said...

There is a huge population that live and work from the canals, Leslie - they drive the bureaucrats mental because they are exempt from certain taxes and have no fixed address. Something to celebrate?

Muts, you may just have given me an idea! Writing now....

Lee said...

Wonderful. Truly wonderful.