posted 12th June
A late start this morning. Dave did the second coat on the starboard gunwale – now the smartest thing on the boat! We sat and enjoyed a coffee in the sun while we decided how far to go today, and finally set off around 11 am. We enjoyed the last of the peace and quiet of the Ashby, passing through the defunct stop lock at the junction and turning north towards Atherstone.
The ex stop lock and the last bridge Farewell to the Ashby
The difference was marked; the Coventry is wider, less attractive and much busier! We moored up in Nuneaton for our lunch stop then went up into town for some shopping. There is a market on Saturdays and the place was very busy. Most of the stalls seemed to be clothing, mobile phone accessories or similar, with just a few veg stalls, food trailers and a pet stall where we got some dog biscuits. We stopped off in a local convenience store for some milk and put the rest of the shopping off for another day.
We left Nuneaton by 4 and on we went past hundreds of yards of allotments. Nuneatonites must be the keenest gardeners on the network! We were looking forward to seeing the quarry spoil heaps, which Pearson termed ‘towering protrusions’ and Nicholson ‘curiously exciting’. However, what wasn’t obscured by new housing was almost completely hidden by trees, so we were out of luck. However, as we approached Springwood Haven marina the view suddenly opened out and the countryside once more was rural and beautiful, though with a strong smell of wild garlic! We cruised on towards Hartshill and Anchor Bridge, where we moored round the bend shortly before the pub moorings in a quiet and attractive spot.
A spot of fishing before the pub
When we went up to eat later on, we noticed Caxton moored up (blogging as The Manly Ferry) and were pleased to meet Paul and Elaine in the pub. They were with Robbie and Suzie from Swamp Frogs, which we saw moored on our way to Hillmorton so it was good to meet them too – they are moored closer to Atherstone so we may not catch up with them as we plan to stay put tomorrow. Anyway, it was great to meet some fellow bloggers!