Thursday, 15 August 2013

Onto the Shroppie

Wednesday 14th August

We left our moorings below the toll house at Gailey in lovely sunshine and made use of the services above the lock.  As we were passing the moorings we heard a bird call more familiar on the Thames, and spied sitting atop a conifer a parakeet.  This may be an escapee or they are moving north. 

As we made our way along the Staffs & Worcs we were surprised at the number of boats coming in the opposite direction.  It looked busy but thus far we had seen nothing ahead or following us.  At one stage boats were passing us roughly every couple of minutes.  We negotiated Calf Heath which always tends to throw us and then approached the motorway knowing the junction of the Shropshire Union was not too far ahead.  South of this the canal narrows as it is cut into the rock, there are passing places and Ali walked ahead, to reckie oncoming boats.  There was no need really, as this was the only time we didn’t pass anyone.  We were soon out of the narrows and approaching the junction. 

Due to the number of boats we had seen moving we fully expected this to be busy but upon arrival, whilst one boat was existing and turning South there were no other boats moving.  We quickly negotiated the turn and the stop lock with only one boat watering up in sight.  As we passed them, two more came into view heading for the junction.

After this we chugged on enjoying this lock free section although by this time the blue skies had been relegated to cloud and the promise of rain. 
When we reached the Shropshire Union Canal Society Moorings at Bridge 7/8 we decided discretion was the better part of valour and moored before the heavens opened.  Ali then had a baking fest, making some chocolate cookies and a banana and hazelnut loaf, cooked tea and made a chilli for

10.5 miles 2 locks

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