The Clips and Trips blog was put together in preparation for our leaving the U.S. on an indefinite world travel adventure which started around August of 2009 and returned us home in December of 2012. If you want to see where it all began, read our mission statement from before we left.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Cycling the Canals, London, United Kingdom

We've been loving riding our bikes through London, and one of the best ways to get to various neighborhoods is by taking the canals. The canal itself is a neighborhood in its own right. It is home to house-boaters who cruise up and down the canal and then moor along the sides over night. I spoke to one captain who told me that all house boats are permitted to stay in one spot for no more than a week. So once a week they all switch spots.

The canal contains a series of locks (chambers with tiny dams on either side) that allow the boats to move to higher or lower parts of the canal. They operate the locks manually by hopping out of the boat and pulling the dam apart like a stubborn barn door. They open or close these locks to either empty or fill water into the chamber so that they can drive their boats in, then empty or fill the chamber depending on whether they're going up or down the canal. The boats are really skinny and two can fit in a chamber at the same time.

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