Monday, 11 September 2017

Onto the Birmingham and Fazeley

Monday 11th September; Alvecote to Fisher’s Mill Bridge

It took three goes before we left this morning; the first two attempts were stymied by rain.  No point in starting in the rain if you don’t have to!  We finally got going at 10 and cruised in bright sunshine…… except when it was raining, but it was not heavy and only showery.  We soon passed the Cheese Boat moored outside the Samuel Barlow.

1 cheese boat at sam barlow pub

On we went through Amington, with its gnome garden by one of the bridges.  Actually, now I come to look at it, more creatures than gnomes.

2 gnome garden amington

We were very lucky at Glascote locks with no queues and a boat just coming out of the top lock, and then another emerging from the bottom one; one of our quickest transits at this flight.  The ‘leaky lock’ ode has been committed to a brass plaque.

4 leaky lock poem Although we wanted to turn up the Birmingham and Fazeley canal, we went straight on at the junction to Peel’s Wharf.  We needed to empty a cassette and didn’t want to leave it till we reached Cambrian Wharf. We topped up the water tank too while we were there.  We had heard that there was a problem with the water point; it looked to have new components but it still leaked.

5 new tap at peels wharf

We turned in the entrance to the little basin, with two geese complaining loudly.  The notice said it was private moorings but we don’t recall ever having seen a boat in there. 

6 turning in basin

Back at the junction we turned towards Birmingham and soon left the built-up area, mooring for lunch shortly before Drayton Footbridge when the clouds got too threatening. We had just closed up when the heavens opened.  The rain was so heavy it splashed through the mushroom above the table in the dinette, narrowly missing my cheese on toast!  The sun came out again and we carried on for the short journey to Fisher’s Mill bridge in bright sunshine once more.  A couple of kayakers came past.  From their conversation it sounded as though they were on a long journey of some kind.  They were both wearing headphones and when they talked to each other one had to keep lifting them away from his ears.

7 kayakers

We went for a walk through the woods on the non-towpath side.  We met some birders who had seen two hobbies and a Great White Egret.  We would have been excited to see either, but didn’t.  As yesterday, we got caught in the rain, though today the shower was longer and heavier.  But once again the trees sheltered us from the worst.

10 rain in wood

Along the trail are several plaques at child height.  We rather like the cheerful newts, and wondered how a robin can clap its hands ….

9 sign in wood  8 sign in wood

It was still raining as we returned over the bridge.

11 mooring

The rain eventually cleared away and there were some good spells of sunshine so Dave cleaned the brasses and I went for a run to check out the facilities at Bodymoor Heath.  I had a question mark in Nicholson’s against the symbols, and at Peel’s Wharf, where the rubbish skip has been removed, the sign says the closest rubbish disposal is at Cambrian Wharf.  But I read recently that there is a refuse point at Bodymoor Heath, and so it proved.

Apart from one very light shower, the evening was still and beautiful.

12 beautiful evening

5½ miles, 2 locks

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