Thursday, 15 September 2011

Catch up

After the wind on Saturday it got worse on Sunday, we continued along the Shropshire Union, I think John found it challenging as the Shroppie is normally quite and easy canal, the wind made it a little challenging, some of the gust were really interesting and along one stretch there was three boats infront of us all sideways due to the cross wind, we arrived at Audlem and we ascended 13 of the 15 locks and moored up in the pound leaving the last two locks for another day.  I walked up to the top lock as the lady in the lock cottage sells delicious home made cakes and goodies as it was late on in the day I think she had sold a lot but I bought some scones, which were lovely, very much like the ones my mum used to make, and that is a real credit to the baker as my mum was renowned for her scones!  We later walked back down to Audlem and had a wander around.  We went to the Shroppie Fly for tea and have to say we were really disappointed with the meal.

On Monday the wind was much worse so we decided to stay put for the day, we did some jobs and had a relaxing day, we went for a walk around and ended up back in Audlem where we did some shopping but as the butchers was closed we decided to try the other pub The Lord Combermere and found that the food was really good.

On Tuesday the weather was better so we set off up the last remaining 2 locks and headed for the Adderley flight.  We ascended the locks and we shopped at the farm shop at the top stocking up on meat as when we came down we bought some and it was lovely.  They also had frozen pork the day before so we bought some and put that straight in the freezer.  We continued to Market Drayton where we stopped.  We walked in finding a quicker route thanks to a lady who lives at the side of the canal, John went for a hair & beard cut, bargain at £5 and I went for a walk around the shops.  We returned to Triskaideka and had lunch then set off for the Tyrley Locks.  There is a notice on the bottom two locks that I interpreted differently to the boat following us, I read that it was inadvisable to pass in the pound between the bottom two locks, (which I now understand is the wrong interpretation), so on reaching the bottom lock as a boat was coming out of the next one I set the lock for the boat.  The lady on the boat behind us laid into John about what I had done, and then her husband had a go at him as well.  By the time she reached the lock she had calmed down a bit either that or she didn't fancy picking a fight with me, I did apologise and she did come round by the time John entered the lock.  We then continued to the next lock where we were told that the day before a boat had got stuck in that particular pound and had been stuck for about two hours whilst they tried to adjust the water levels.  So I might have been wrong but at least we didn't get stuck!  We then met the Hotel Narrowboat Oak at the next lock, with the butty Ash at the next, with the crew bow hauling Ash through the flight.  We continued to Goldstone Bridge where we moored for the night.

On Wednesday we continued to Wheaton Ashton, stopping at Norbury Junction for the services.  We moored and went for a walk, on our way back we stopped to chat to fellow bloggers from NB Oakfield, it was lovely to meet them.  (Sorry if your tea was late due to how long we were chatting!).  We did see them in Leicester but they had gone past before we realised who it was.  When we got back, a boat had moored behind us, whose occupants appear to have imbibed rather a lot and were somewhat rowdy (not in a pleasant way), they had a go at a poor bloke walking his dog as they had left a glass of beer on the towpath which the dog knocked it over, then they were yelling at each other, then it went quiet, so we decided they had gone out.  About 10:00 we heard them coming back, yelling further up the towpath, we assume they had been asked to leave the pub.  One of them then knocked on the side of the boat.  Apparently, they had no water, could they have some?  He went to get a container, he fell over his own mooring rope and then returned, I filled up his container but then he didn't seem to be able to let go of the side of the boat to return to his own.  Eventually he went, then they had another row, seemed to be about someone smoking on the boat and the consequences due to the fuel on board (petrol).  At this point I asked John how quick we could move if his boat went up!  The last argument we heard was a women (who we didn't know was there) saying she was going home, she was asked how she was going to get home, to which she said she would get a taxi to the motorway!   

This morning we left (no sign of the neighbours) used the services, unfortunately we didn't need diesel as Turners Garage is very cheap (72.9p).  After the lock at Wheaton Aston we had a 7 mile lock free cruise to Autherley Junction stop lock.  We came across a very stuck Viking Afloat boat, why they were that far across the canal who knows, but we did manage to get them off.  We then caught up with two further Viking Afloats on the approach to Autherley Junction, the second of which stopped completely in the last bridge hole, for no apparent reason, fortunately we managed to stop before hitting them.  They then continued at less than tick over, but fortunately for us they pulled up at the water point.  We then went through the stop lock and back onto the Staffordshire & Worcester Canal.  We got through the narrows without meeting another boat and continued to Gailey where we have moored.  We had our closest encounter today with a kingfisher, it was flying infront of the boat then as we passed almost landed on the hand rail then returned to the branch only a few feet from us, the poor thing looked somewhat bemused but its colouring was brilliant and it certainly the closest we have been to a kingfisher this year.  On the topic of birds has anyone else noticed how many buzzards there now are?  If one thing sums up our summer its the cry of buzzards circling on thermals.

Windy Day

Autumn Arriving?

I have never realised that this is a road bridge

Our mooring tonight

Sunday 6 miles 13 locks
Tuesday 9 miles 12 locks
Wednesday 15 miles 0 locks
Thursday  15 miles 2 locks

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