Our body clocks are still on British Summer Time so yesterday morning we were up, breakfasted and ready to move by 8am. We reversed out of our Cambrian Wharf moorings and whilst Tacet was in the first of the Farmer’s Bridge locks I sorted the rubbish and loo and we were off down the flight of 13 in our usual routine, preparing the locks ahead, oh and this time opening a paddle for the boat following us down. We made good time with a volunteer joining us about half-way down so that saved a trip back to close up and refill the lock, so were at the bottom with the kettle on for coffee at 9.30.
“Step at a time a river carefully climbs down through the town.”
More lock gate poetry has arrived since the last time we travelled this flight.
It’s not long though before the Ashted locks come into view, 6 locks this time and Ian worked them. The Digbeth branch takes us round past Aston University, Typhoo Basin, to the start, or end, of the Grand Union Canal.
Bridge painting - a brave man on the ledge and underneath a floating platform with a stepladder balanced on top for the underside.
Then there’s the Camp Hill flight of 6, we swapped roles here and met three other boats on the flight so locks were for us and at the top we were leaving the city buildings behind and things began to look a bit greener.
We had a stop at Tysley to revisit the Vehicle Electric’s garage, where the bad news was that we needed a new alternator after Mr Fixit was unable to, well fixit. Having taking it on/off/on/off several times over the last week, it didn’t take long for the job to be done and we could move on again.
Once we had left the Birmingham suburbs behind we moored in the romantic sounding Catherine de Barnes village. Bob and June from Autumn Myst had very kindly invited us to dinner at their nearby home. We met them back in May on the Kennet and Avon and Oxford Canals, and have followed each others travels since. Bob chauffeured us to their lovely home where June had prepared a wonderful dinner. It was lovely to see them both again, and catch up on the past few months and hear about the new guide dog puppy which will be arriving on Thursday. It was a real treat to go out for the evening too. Thank you.
Today, it was cold when we woke up, the thermometer read 7’. We had not lit the fire last night as we were out, so a burst of the central heating was needed to encourage us out of our cosy bed.
It was a quieter travelling day today taking us through Knowle and Kingswood/Lapworth to Rowington.
Tomorrow we shall tackle the Hatton locks down into Warwick.
Tuesday - 10 miles, 25 locks, 2 tunnels
Wednesday - 8 miles, 5 locks