Atherstone (warm enough for ice cream)

Our mooring at Atherstone for Thursday night

Buddy and I set off from Fazeley just before 8 on Thursday morning but stopped at Fazeley services to take on water and get rid of rubbish and recycling.  This boat was moored opposite the services – quite an unusual paint job:


After the services we passed the grotty pub we went to for our cheeky Wednesday pint.  Mind you we did enjoy ourselves there as I did when I went a few weeks ago when I met up with John and Sue who live on their boat Nuthatch.

The Three Tuns – our Wednesday evening venue

Just past the pub we reached Fazeley Junction where we were turning left to join the Coventry canal.  The Birmingham & Fazeley canal continues to the right on its way down to Birmingham.

Turning left at the junction

The Birmingham & Fazeley canal continues down here to Birmingham

Grand toll house at the junction

Continuing along the Coventry canal I was soon reminded that there are original milestones along the 27 mile length to the basin at Coventry.  I have found most of them and they can be seen by clicking on this link Coventry canal milestones

Before the first locks of the day we went over the River Tame on the Tame aqueduct – hence the name of the local town, Tamworth.

Crossing the River Tame

The first locks were the two locks at Glascote and Buddy seems to have got into a good routine when I am locking on my own.  He is usually with Karen when we are locking so I suppose she must have trained him well.

Buddy waiting at the first lock of the day

When we went under the M42 I felt like we were back in the Midlands, indeed we were in Warwickshire – it really felt like we were getting home.  Strange feeling as our boat is our physical home but having cruised around the Leamington area for nearly nine months it feels like home too.  I suppose the feeling of home in an area is more a roots type thing.  Whereas home, i.e. the boat, is wherever you live which could be a house, boat, tent, caravan etc.

Into the Midlands – under the M42

We stopped in Polesworth for lunch.  There are many visitors’ moorings here at both ends of the village but we were the only boat there.  When we were here in the winter there were far more boats around.  Polesworth always reminds me of Mike and Aileen as it is the first place they led us astray by keeping us in a pub all night.

Moored for lunch in Polesworth

After lunch we reached the bottom of the 11 lock Atherstone flight.  We’ve had many happy days moored here over the last few years.

The bottom of the Atherstone flight today

Pictures taken of the same spot in March and September 2015 - I wish I had stood in the same place each time and also taken pictures on other occasions we have been through
Buddy contended at one of the ATherstone locks
We went up the first four locks and then moored up.  As we were mooring, a boat stopped by us with its horn beeping.  I assumed it was the signal the steerer gives to his dog that he is approaching a lock – a little dog was running up and down the roof.  Anyway, as they drew alongside I realised it was our friend Maffi who was getting my attention with his horn.  He stopped for a chat and explained that he was on his way to Chester of Liverpool depending on how the fancy took him when he got up that way.  It was good to see him as it was a while since we last caught up in Braunston – since then he has been down to Guildford and Godalming which we are quite envious of.

Writing about talking to people makes me realise that Maffi was really the only person we chatted to today.  All other communication was nods and waves as we passed other boaters or walkers.

Buddy and I then took a walk into Atherstone town to check out the station and find out where the trains went.  We hope to move on quite a bit further this weekend but have the car to contend with.  We will probably leave it at Atherstone and then when we get to Rugby we can get a train back to pick it up.

I was really feeling quite shattered and we rested on a bench in the market square for a while

When we set off back to the boat we passed an ice cream shop and, quite unlike me, I bought a salted caramel cone.  Unlike me because I would not normally buy an ice cream when I’m on my own and also I am quite conservative in my ice cream taste and would normally only choose vanilla.  Thinking about it, I did order vanilla but they had run out.

We stayed in when Karen got home and had roasted vegetables for dinner with our boat grown rosemary and chillies.

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