We left our noisy mooring by The Sealife Centre tout suite in the morning to see if we could find a better berth, fortunately there were two free 24 hour moorings at the back of Gas Street Basin (Old Wharf), one seemed to have been commandeered by Canada geese so we chose the other, outside a closed down bar. This was much more peaceful with just a few pedestrians passing by, oh and a water bus stop at which the little taxi passed on a regular basis, without us seeing them pick up one passenger.
After chilling out for an hour or so we ventured into the city and found the markets at The Bullring. I have been thinking about getting a new MiFi device and after visiting several shops and then returning to the boat eventually decided to go for an Alcatel Y855 aka EE’s Osprey. So it was a trek back up to The Bullring to do the deal, a 30 day rolling contract with 6Gb of data for £15/month and an up-front cost of £40, it’s 4G capable as well, which is already available here in Brum, we shall see how it performs on the rest of our journey.
After a good night we were up in good time to visit Sherbourne Wharf on the Oozells Street loop to top up with diesel, and get a ‘pump out’ and be on our way back past Gas Works Basin, The Mailbox and out into the leafy suburbs of Edgbaston with the railway line to keep us company. Catty, who was sitting on the hatch by us suddenly took a dislike to these noisy contraptions, freaked out and wanted to go back in the boat.
Between Selly Oak and Bournville there was a terrific amount of activity improving the tow path and we spotted a couple of interesting boats to carry the diggers etc. one of them was broad beam but was made to split to become a narrow beam to pass through locks, really neat!
Bournville News reported last December (2013)
The route along the Worcester Canal is on a major cycle route and is often muddy after rainfall with puddles of standing water.
The proposals to improve the route form part of the wider Birmingham Cycle Revolution project – which won central government backing to the tune of £17million in August of this year.
Hmm… A lovely smooth surface, just imagine the speeds cyclists will be able to achieve.
It was straight on at Kings Norton Junction and into uncharted territory, the Wast Hill Tunnel was next, a mile and a half of dead straight tunnel open to two way traffic. The ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ could be seen all the way through and although the notice at the portal indicated a transit time of an hour, fortunately there were no boats coming the other way and we were through in not much more than 30 minutes.
Just another 3 miles and we found a place to stop at Alvechurch Visitor Moorings to contemplate tomorrow’s journey.