…and now we’re in Birmingham
Friday morning was spent, like most of the nation, watching the Royal Wedding and at lunchtime we set off to tackle Atherstone Locks with a refreshment stop halfway at The White Horse, again we had an early finish stopping in open countryside before Polesworth cunningly putting a small hill between ourselves and the railway line.
Saturday we made our way through Alvecote where we bought fuel at Narrowcraft and saw Steam Narrowboat Tixall up the Curdworth flight and through the tunnel to the Visitor Moorings where we met up with our young friends Esther & Jos who hail from Wotton-under-Edge but are currently living in Birmingham. They cleverly met us at The White Horse, avoiding having to help with the locks, then we returned to the boat for a meal; as they are Vegans this exercised our brains for a while but managed to concoct a Vegetable Thai Curry, which they were polite enough to say they enjoyed.
This morning started at 8am and had an easy first part of the journey, apart from encountering a fishing competition, we continued to Salford Junction, which is overshadowed by the motorway as it converges on Spaghetti Junction. We had gritted our teeth at the thought of the 26 locks we had to climb today, but in the event they were not too bad.
Most of the Aston flight were for us after meeting a boat coming down, and all of the Farmers Bridge flight were against us, but we soon developed a system of emptying the next lock as we were filling the one we were in, and as our friend Andy (nb Nutwood) had told us they are really something as they wend their way through, and sometimes under the heartlands of Birmingham you see such a mix of architecture with side ponds often now tucked under the buildings too.
There is quite a brisk wind today which caused a few problems entering locks accurately and on arriving at Cambrian Wharf I feared I would make a fool of myself reversing into the finger pontoon moorings, fortunately the wind dropped long enough for me to make a fair fist of it and so after several long drinks and a sandwich I am collapsed in front of the computer anticipating a pint at The Flapper later and exploring Brum tomorrow.