Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Find Friends

We left Willington at 6:45 Monday, another nice quiet section until we reached the outskirts of Burton-Upon-Trent where the canal runs alongside the A38 for several miles, the traffic noise was such that I could hear it over our engine noise, but the fumes were nothing compared to Melissa's. Nothing much to see in Burton because the canal only brushes the edges. We moored at a very good sunny spot with mooring rings and Armco (metal sheeting where you can attach mooring chains), in Alrewas we took a long walk to Fradley Junction. Fradley is an important canal place where the Trent and Mersey meets the Coventry Canal. It has a famous pub, The Swan, if your're a boater you're supposed to call it the Mucky Duck, fame normally adds 50p a pint so we didn't go in. We did, Millie and I, visit the William IV in Alrewas, at 5:30 the place was rocking, a mixed clientele unified only by the need for alcohol early in the evening chatted and guffawed, a lovely pint of Pedigree for £2.70, free dog chew (dogs only), no TV, wonderful.

This morning I was in the bathroom when I heard Elaine greet someone with such enthusiasm I assumed it was a passing dog, I was surprised when it turned  out to be Andy our friend from home who was just passing on his way to an appointment, our location can be very accurately pinpointed using the Find Friends app, you must have friends in order to find them, other apps exist for the friendless. We also came across our neighbour Dave from the Crick Marina moored near Barton, and passed Cowboy Mick not soon after, it was a day for for friends.

It was a windy, cloudy and cool day today, and the scenery as we passed through Armitage (famous for toilet manufacturing) and the outskirts of Rugeley, only added to the gloom. The plan was to stock up with food in Rugeley was foiled by a lack of moorings, so we are now moored in Great Hayward in a rather dull spot, but that's our fault because there are better moorings further which we lacked the courage to pursue after the Rugeley experience. Great Hayward is not a very nice place, it has two shops, the first one I tried was rejected as being too crap to get my custom, the second one would have been similarly treated if I had tried it first, but there is a really excellent farm shop, I can't vouch for the pub.

We had a nice walk around the Shugborough Estate which is very close to the canal, if you are willing to spend £15 each you can have a look round.

Tomorrow we plan to leave the Trent & Mersey and head toward Wolverhampton on the Staffs and Worcs Canal, this gives us more options than following our original rough plan of continuing on the T&M through Stoke.

Very narrow bridge, typical on this stretch

Short river section

Mucky Duck? I don't think so

Shugborough Hall
Bridge over the River Sow

Farm Shop

Snap by Andy

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