Monday, 3 August 2015

Back in the Trent Valley

Not blogged for a couple of days so here is a catchup. From Coven Heath we pushed on down the Staffs and Worcester Canal stopping for the night at Baswick bridge 96. We walked to the Radford Bank Inn which is a Crown Carvery. We did not hold out much hope but we were tired and hungry after 15 miles and eleven locks. We had a massive carvery for £5.79 each. It was pretty good food, for the money it was fantastic, it fed both of us with lots of leftovers for spot.

Photos below show how deep some of the cuts are on this stretch of the canal - not just deep but narrow with few passing places but extremely impressive.
Bit overgrown around here

Back in the Trent Valley

River Sow Aqueduct

Tixall Wide
 Tixall Wide is supposed to have a good population of kingfishers.  We didn't see any here but have seen plenty while we've been out this year - Jan even saw one catch a fish and fly off.  They are an extremely shy bird and very difficult to get anywhere close enough for a photo before it shoots off in a very low straight flight in amazing speed.
Gets narrow here

Jan's Photo at Fradley Junction
Next day found us at Fradley Junction. We managed to just fit on the 48h moorings below the lock mooring. It is amazing how many times we manage to fit 45ft Tilly May onto the last mooring space. A meal in the Mucky Duck. We had done quite a few locks in the last few days, one observation we have noted this trip is the large number of boats that arrive at a lock and stop with their boat and do nothing to help the boat in front but are happy to accept help from the boat behind. At times when we have encountered a queue of boats it was not unusual to see 6 or 7 people standing by boats talking while one person struggles on the lock.  So saying, there was  plenty of movement going up towards the junction and there seemed to be a lot of seasoned helpful boaters; also we had help on a couple of locks from Fradley by 2 CaRT volunteers and later from IWA volunteers at Branston Lock - the latters had a stall selling cakes and other goodies which Chris could not resist!!

Moored last night at Stenson after picking up some milk in Willington. We had already decided that the Dragon would be packed on a sunny Sunday (we were right it was heaving) so we pushed on and found a good mooring at Stenson. Had a very nice kebab at the Bubble Inn and suffered with the hot weather during the night.