Saturday 30 May 2015

Under way

Our plans for the last 24 hours worked out pretty well, except for leaving Great Haywood rather later than planned this morning. We'd flown back from Oslo to Manchester, had a meal in a Brewer's Fayre  pub on the way south, and got back to Erin Mae in time to unpack our cases before bed. This morning we transferred to the car everything we thought redundant for the next few months, plugged in the car's solar panel and (eventually) disconnected, untied and move out on the first leg of our summer's journey. We need to get to Mercia Marina by Monday night.

The first stretch is familiar territory. Down Great Haywood lock by the cafĂ©…

and then through Shugborough land. This gave me the opportunity to test out (again!) the amazing zoom on my new "travel" Lumix camera.

The clematis was making a good show over one of the canalside cottages…

and the signs at this one always make us smile – I've seen them on other people's blogs as well.

My best beloved informed me this was a pink hawthorne at Wolseley Bridge, so that was worth getting out the camera again and using the zoom as it receded behind us.

Then on through Rugeley, where we stopped to replenish the larder at Morrisons. By now we were well behind schedule, so lunch was a late sandwich as we travelled.

The CanalPlan website said we should stop for the night at Kings Bromley wharf, but where Nicholson's guide showed the wharf was a most unwelcoming piece of bank with a rocky shelf. So we carried on to the next lock and, the hour being late, decided that it would be OK to tie up in the section that is actually reserved for boats queuing for the lock. Naughty, I'm afraid, but there's hardly any traffic, and it's a long section, and we're aiming to be away first thing in the morning. I shall have to do a penance of some sort. Oh dear…


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