Great Haywood to Fradley Junction : 12 miles, 3 locks
To date : 1186 miles, 835 locks
This morning was one out of the bag. We woke to a frost and stunning blue sky. When I squeegeed the pram cover inside this morning I got showered with ice crystals. Mick wasn't so keen on getting out of bed but I was up and about at 6am.
We had an enjoyable dinner last night at the pub with Andy and Jean followed by coffee, beer, ginger cake and a good chat back on the boat. We'll miss you guys, it's been so much fun getting to know you and we do hope you get the travel bug after your trip to China. You're welcome for sure.
I nudged Mick out of bed eventually and as we finished breakfast Jean peered in the window on her way to the lock. Andy soon followed on Josephine. We followed soon after, heading off in the glorious sunshine to make our way out of Great Haywood. We don't remember the moorings down below the lock being so beautiful but I suspect it wasn't such a lovely day last time we passed by. They overlook the fields of Shugborough and it looked like one of the prettiest moorings we've seen.
We passed some familiar boats today and while I was inside trying to get some work done that doorbell must have rung half a dozen times! First nb Dampervan from Aston Marina, then Jilly and Rand on nb All or Nothing. They were just coming out to take their rubbish so walked alongside us for a bit to chat. Not long after Mick spied nb Helene out with her new owners. It made us think of Bob and Karen and how they're getting on back in Australia.
As we reached Rugeley for a grocery stop we spied one vacant space behind nb Josephine. We had to squeeze through a narrow section before turning into the space and at the very same time a boat came towards us through the bridge and turned in front of us into the spot! They called out that there was nothing beyond the bridge so maybe we could both squeeze in. The space was a long one and they had a short boat so with a bit of manipulating we were both moored up to go shopping. It's such a pleasure to meet boaters like that.
On my way past nb Josephine a little furry face was peering out the porthole. There's a brand new Tesco at Rugeley and it's right beside the canal. We love it when we find a supermarket so close and made the most of the opportunity by stocking up. The cupboards are bulging. It will probably be the last big shop that we do as time is running out. We bumped into the Josephine crew (just the two legged ones) in Tesco so stopped to talk... again... and back on the boat unpacking the shopping we waved them off for the final time. They winded just ahead and came back past waving furiously.
We headed on to Fradley, another of our favourite canal places. We'll enjoy a couple of nights here, it's full of activity. It's been a glorious days cruising with the sun shining all day. Lovely!