Tuesday 26 September 2017

Single track with passing places

We want to be in Audlem by Sunday evening, and the CanaPlan website says that means between 3 and 4 hours travelling a day. We were therefore prepared for a bit of a hard grind, but today's cruising has been delightful. We didn't get up early, but that was just as well, as we were passed in both directions by a stream of boats – mostly a mixture of hirers and old working boats. By the time we were on the move, it was a real pleasure to be out and about.

To get to Autherley Junction we had to pass through a very narrow mile, reminiscent of those more remote roads in Scotland or the Lake District.


I still remember the trepidation with which we first traversed this section, five years ago. Now we're pretty blasé! But still glad of the occasional passing paces, even if they weren't needed this time.

We reached Autherley Junction in a couple of hours, turned neatly around its acute angle and moved from the Staffs and Worcs canal to the Shropshire Union.

The Shroppie itself has a couple of "single-track" sections in this stretch, but the main challenges of that sort lie further north. We tied up in the sunshine just south of Brewood at one of our favourite stopping places.

In all it had taken 3½ hours, which was good going, and quicker than CanalPlan had estimated. By time the ensuing sit-down had turned into something a bit longer, the clear skies meant a chill was creeping into the air. So it was time for a cuppa, with a piece of toast and honey. Well, all work and no play…


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