We had nine junctions to contend with today, usually we’re lucky if we get one! The weather forecast wasn’t looking great, so we cast off nice and early (well 8am, that’s early for Toby!). We were following Fred from nb Chyandour’s suggested route to Birmingham and it worked a treat.
Three locks, I steered and Toby operated the locks, he’s still in training though and forgot the handcuff key – thank goodness we’ve still got the fishing net on a pole to hand things over.
The canals were lovely and wide with so much greenery, and we had it all to ourselves in the main. We’re so pleased we made the decision to come this way, quite a few boaters we’ve passed on our travels have tried to put us off, I’m glad we stuck to the plan. It’s not often you come across a fork on the canal network, we stayed right.
We went under the M5, the bridge is quite impressive. Some of the graffiti we saw along the canal banks was quite a work of art.
On the wide sections of the canal on the New Line into Birmingham, there were islands in the middle with narrow channels either side, these were once the home of toll houses, and now long since disappeared.
Birmingham high rises seems to appear out of nowhere. We made the last or our turns at Oozells Loop and took the advice of Neil and Chris on nb Comfortably Numb, and moored at their favorite mooring off the main line. It’s a great little spot, we were lucky to get in, Toby got off to see if there was space, a boat turned in from the other direction so I pushed on the throttle and kept to the right making my intentions clear that I was having that space! The other boat carried on past us, so it all worked out.
We went for a walk in between the showers up as far as Gas Street basin, if you’re hungry, you’re not short of places to eat.
It’s fair to say we both got the munchies, so with a spoon each, we tucked in to some crumble and watched the first episode of Bake Off.