Sunday 7 April 2013

Rugeley to Fradley Junction

Rugeley to Fradley Junction : 7 miles, 1 locks
To date : 156 miles, 111 locks, 20 lift bridges, 7 tunnels, 6 aqueducts

This morning was still.  Bliss!  We did our last minute chores, downed the pram cover and off we went.  It was so lovely to cruise with the sun making regular appearances and no wind.  It was the best day since Mick returned from Australia.

We didn't pass a single boat until the place you least want to - through the narrow passage that was once the Armitage tunnel.  The other boat called out that they'd seen nobody in 1 1/2 hours either.  Murphys Law.  We stopped for water at Armitage and took a photo or two of the rows of loos at Armitage Shanks. 

I couldn't believe it when we passed a narrowboat called "Snork Maiden".  I thought they must be Finnish.  The Moomin Troll stories were ones I loved as a kid.  I googled it just now and it seems the Moomin tv program may have been shown in England years ago.  Why didn't we get it in Australia!

We were aiming for Fradley Junction to meet up with Barry on nb Winton's Folly.  Carol is having a few days away for a family birthday so Barry's on his own.  We found him easily enough.  As we reached the first of the moored boats we saw him on the towpath throwing a ball for his daughter's dog who is staying with him over the weekend.  We moored a few boats away and caught up over a toasted sandwich.  Mick hasn't seen Barry since the end of January.

It was a stunning sunny afternoon.  After lunch we had a pleasant walk around Fradley Junction.  It reminds us of the first time we met Ray on nb Ferndale.  It was the first time we'd met an Aussie with a narrowboat and better still, it was someone embarking on the adventure we were dreaming about. 

Photos :
1. Canalside at Rugeley
2. Hawkesyard Priory
3. Lovely pub by the canal
4. & 5. Toilets galore
6. And the old building beyond
7. & 8. Moomin Troll and Snork Maiden
9. Waiting for the lock
10. Pretty building in the distance
11. Quaint lock with bent gates
12. Barry and mick
13. - 16. Fradley Junction.  Lovely!
17. Mick checking out an old British Waterways car


In the drink to date : Elly - phone charger (retrieved - it floated!), Mick - sunglasses, Mick - hearth brush, Mick - mooring hook (retrieved with sea searcher), Mick - reading glasses, Mick - drill bit (retrieved with sea searcher), Mick - ash bucket, Mick - dishbrush, Mick - colander (retrieved - it floated), Mick - reading glasses (another pair)

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