Tuesday, 3 May 2016

On to Alrewas

It's been a routine but very pleasant sort of day. We set off just before eight with the familiar run to Alrewas in prospect. The weather was much better than yesterday, though still with a chilly wind, and I didn't need to wrap up anything like as much for my stint on the back.

By the time we got to Woodend, we'd had coffee and Sheila had started a wash load. We passed some old acquaintances from our WRG days, the Bakers on Enbee, and they followed us down the locks as far as the junction. The locks were against us until we got to Middle, where a volockie had set it for us. We then had this excellent service at every lock through Fradley. In contrast to some complaints that have been aired on CanalWorld, they were courteous and considerate and took particular care to ensure that, as the steerer, I was happy with what they were doing.

There was quite a bit of traffic about, especially Canaltimes, but nothing to cause inconvenience. We've tied just above Bagnall lock, as usual when going in this direction, but there would have been room on the controlled moorings if we'd wanted to stop there.

After lunch and a rest, we walked the towpath to the river lock. The boards all say "Proceed with caution" though the river level is well down in the green. There's a fair flow on, mind, so not much different from when we came up three and a half weeks ago.

We took a path across the fields into the centre of the village, emerging onto Dark Lane. I don't honestly think that it saved much time, if any, but made a pleasant change when we weren't in a hurry anyway. We popped into the Coöp for some bits and pieces and ambled back to the boat for a cup of tea.

Tomorrow, we'll go on to Branston, then to Willington on Thursday. At the moment, the plan is to tie in the village for the night so as to sample the produce of the new chip shop, then go into the marina on Friday morning.

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