ALLAN AND DEBBIE'S HOME PAGE 

The Travels of the Jones Family, and Narrow Boat "Keeping Up"


 

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January 2019

You have found Allan & Debbie's Home Page. Here you can read all about us and our exploits on the canals as well as our journeys further afield to such places as Europe's mightiest rivers, Portugal, Iceland, the Norwegian Fjords, Sweden's Gota Canal, the American Northeast, the Alaskan Coast, RussiaEgypt and Antarctica.

To help you find your way around this site as it continues to grow, as well as the comprehensive index you will see a navigation bar at the top of this page as well as on our home page. You can click directly on to any of the 6 headings or you can click on any of the sub-menus that drop down from them. This navigation bar should help you to find any one of our journeys, as well as taking you directly to many of the more spectacular places that we have visited.

If you travel by canal and like watching TV, you may need help finding the Sky satellite. I have devised the Satellite Sundial which you may find useful.

After a wonderful Christmas in the beautiful and peaceful Staffordshire countryside, our canal and river voyages in 2018 took us many miles via Birmingham, Worcester, Gloucester, Llangollen, Stoke-on-Trent, Macclesfield, Braunston, Oxford, Windsor, Lechlade, and Leicester - to finish back in the Staffordshire countryside for Christmas again. Our plans were constantly changing, affected by the weather (remember the Beast from the East, and the Pest from the West?), by water shortages, and by a major canal breach at Middlewich, but in some ways that made the journey even more interesting; I hope you enjoy reading about it.

 

Bratch

 

In 2018 we also went on an epic foreign trip. For many years we had wanted to cruise across Europe from Amsterdam to the Black Sea. The trip would perfectly complement our previous cruise across Russia from St Petersburg to the Black Sea, and this year thanks to an amazing last-minute deal we were able to make this wonderful voyage. After a visit to the Dutch tulip fields we cruised up the River Rhine and then, courtesy of the Main-Danube Canal, we cruised the whole length of the River Danube to the Black Sea. After passing through 8 countries in 3 weeks we flew home from Bucharest, with a host of new memories to cherish. I took over 1500 photos and videos on the trip, and it has been a major task selecting the best ones to publish here. I hope you enjoy seeing them all as you read all about this incredible journey.

 

Iron Gorge

 

Previous canal trips include Pennine crossings on both the Rochdale and Huddersfield Narrow canals, visits to Boston including the Witham Navigable Drains and Chesterfield Canal, passage through Froghall Tunnel on the Leek & Caldon canals, a ride on the Anderton Lift, and a rough-weather trip from Sharpness to Bristol, so there are a host of new canal pictures for you to look at - as well as some old ones I have added with reminiscences from the 1940s, 1960s, and 1970s. These include the sights and sounds of the working boats at the 2001 festival in Milton Keynes.

All the pages are packed with pictures; I hope you enjoy them. The pictures are shown as thumbnails to help the pages load quickly, but clicking on any picture will bring up a larger version. The photos are all available at higher resolution so e-mail me if you'd like any of them sent to you or if you'd just like to get in touch.

 

Allan and Debbie

 

cows

Milton Keynes, where even concrete cows do their Shopping

 

STILL WATERS

The canal pages have now got the pictures from our recent canal trips, as well as our earlier trips including the Bristol Channel, the Fens, the Great Ouse, the Thames and the Trent. Recently added are the stories of our two boats: "Thistle" the boat that survived two sinkings as well as being cut in half, and "Keeping Up" that we commissioned to replace her. You can also see and hear the working boats at the 2001 National Waterways Festival. There will be more trip reports and pictures added later, and hopefully I'll be able to scan in some old photos from our earlier trips - a task which I've just started with a few pictures and reminiscences of the River Shannon and the Norfolk Broads in the 1960s and 1970s, the canals in the 1970's, and our trips on Thistle from 1987-1991.

 

EUROPE'S MIGHTIEST RIVERS

In 2018 we travelled on the rivers Rhine and Danube from Amsterdam to the Black Sea. This 3-week trip took us through 8 different countries and included visits to an amazing variety of towns and cities.

 

THE RIVER OF GOLD

In 2017 we went to Portugal to travel  for a week on the River Douro. The scenery was beautiful, the boating was spectacular, and the Port Wine was marvellous. We even harvested a bucket of grapes and had great fun treading them!

FIRE AND ICE

For Debbie's birthday in 2015 we took a short break to Iceland, with plans to see the Northern Lights (we didn't, although the camera did) to go whale watching (we didn't see any) and swim in the Blue Lagoon while it was snowing (we did, but it didn't snow). But it was a fantastic trip anyway!

 

AUTUMN COLOURS OF THE AMERICAN NORTHEAST

We flew to New York to see the amazing autumn colours of the American Northeast, travelling inland on a small ship to Quebec and Montreal via the Hudson River, Erie Canal and St Lawrence Seaway.

 

TELFORD'S SWEDISH CONNECTION

In 1832, Thomas Telford built a canal across the south of Sweden from Stockholm to Gothenburg. In 2013 we travelled in his footsteps on one of the canal's vintage passenger boats, and with my new camera at  the ready I was able to record much of this canal's unique atmosphere.

 

VODKA AND CAVIAR

Two travel reports from Russia with Love. In 2007 we spent 2 weeks cruising from Moscow to St Petersburg, and in 2011 we returned to take the longer voyage from St Petersburg to Astrakhan and Rostov-on-Don. There are pages of pictures and descriptions of the major towns and cities, and of the cruises between including the Volga-Don canal. I'm sure you'll enjoy them.

 

PYRAMIDS AND SAND

Another of our travel reports, our pictures from Egypt. In 2004 we spent 2 weeks in Cairo, on Lake Nasser, and on the Nile and I have selected the best from all the pictures I took there.

 

NOW WITH ADDED PENGUINS

Next there are our pictures from the Antarctic and the Chilean Fjords. We went there in 2003 for a once-in-a-lifetime experience in the last unspoiled place on the Planet. I've just finished uploading our logbook and I've selected the best examples of the 1000 pictures I took there. If you really like looking at penguins let me know and I'll email you hundreds more pictures!

 

RAIN AND ICE

The second fjord trip, in 2001, was to Alaska on board the last remaining great American Steamship SS "Universe Explorer"

 

SUN AND ICE

The first of our BIG holidays, in 1999, was our Norwegian cruise to the land of the Midnight Sun.

 

 

 

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