Yet another glorious day with sunshine and birdsong. Spring is certainly catching up with itself now – the crab-apples in the hedgerows are now in blossom to add to the abundance.
We set off up Radford Bottom lock looking out for signs to the Farm Shop we were told about the other day; it is easily found from the bridge by the lock. They sell their own eggs, chicken, duck and lamb, and local pork, bacon, beef, honey, jam and vegetables. The hens and ducks certainly looked happy enough, sunbathing and scratching about with plenty of space. We bought some massive sticks of rhubarb as well as bacon and chicken. This is the attractive approach to Radford bottom lock.
We continued up Fosse locks and pulled in at Fosse Wharf for water and to empty a cassette. The water tap flows fast, which is just as well because we needed to use our hose to rinse the cassette; the water pressure in the sanitary station is too low to be any use even if the water point is not in use. Consequently the sluice area is the most filthy I have ever seen, with broken tiles to add to the general unpleasantness. (We have reported it to C&RT). Some of the Fosse locks were very hard work in the heat.
We unexpectedly met a couple who used to live in our village at the top Fosse lock - we have not seen them for 15 or more years. No other boats were around so we were able to spend some time catching up. Here are Dave and Trisha aboard nb Traveller’s Joy on their way again.
We moored on the end of the Armco above Wood lock for a leisurely lunch, then continued on to Welsh Road lock and Bascote. At Welsh Road we found that the bottom gates leaked so badly that both top paddles had to be kept up to get the top gate open. Unfortunately two boats were ahead of us this afternoon, so the locks were all against us. The middle gates at Bascote staircase were spectacularly leaky.
We moored for the evening shortly after bridge 27 near Cuttle and Long Itchington. When we walked up to check out the pubs in the evening we found the Two Boats had only just re-opened after being closed for a while, but is not yet doing food, so we went over the canal to the Cuttle Inn. There had been a beer festival at the weekend in Long Itchington, and it had been so popular that they had run out of bitter! There was also no beef left so the menu was a but restricted, but we still enjoyed a meal in the sunshine with our alternative drinks – here overlooking the Two Boats across the canal.