Thursday, 8 October 2015

Rowington (two days from Birmingham)

We had moored outside the Leamington Lidl on Tuesday evening so Karen had an easy early trip to stock up on a few things. 

We were planning on leaving about ten on Wednesday morning as we had a lot of locks to climb.  As it was a boat went past us at nine and we decided to join them so we could share the work together.  We followed them into Warwick and went through the two Cape locks with them.

 They were Andy and Jane from nb Kala; we had waved over the last few days as we leapfrogged each other when one was moored and the other was passing.  In fact they were the boat that had the dog bowls of food on the towpath that we mentioned in yesterday’s blog.

It’s that special time of year when one tree can have many different colours.

The girls operated the locks as usual and they also had a lock keeper who helped by getting locks set ahead of us as we went up the 21 lock Hatton flight.  Andy and I chatted on the way up but he seemed quite shy.  They moor their boat further down south on the Grand Union and were on a two week holiday taking a circular route via Birmingham.  They are taking the same route to Birmingham as us but there will be no more lock sharing as they are all narrow locks after the flight today.  It took us 2 ½ hours to climb the Hatton flight.  Some pictures at the bottom of the entry as usual.

At the top we stopped to take on water and bacon sandwiches – we knew it wasn’t Saturday, our normal bacon sandwich day, but felt we deserved one after the big lock flight.  The water pressure was the best we have come across and we filled up in no time even though we had left it for a week.  When finished we carried on cruising and went through the short (433 yard) Shrewley tunnel. The tunnel is unusual in that it has a horse tunnel alongside it – the usual solution for tunnels without towpaths would be to walk the horses over the top of the hill.

This cutting has lots of exposed blue lias although the photo doesn’t really show the blueness.

We moored for the rest of the day in Rowington and I got the chainsaw out for the first time since last winter.  The ducks were attracted by the smell of the fish Karen was cooking...

...and the view at the top was taken from the other kitchen window in the morning when the sun started coming through. On Thursday we have another long flight of locks to climb on the North Stratford canal and then on Friday we should have an easy cruise into the centre of Birmingham.   

Here are pictures of the 21 lock Hatton flight.

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